6.9/10
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89 user 29 critic

The Lover (1992)

L'amant (original title)
In 1929 French Indochina, a French teenage girl embarks on a reckless and forbidden romance with a wealthy, older Chinese man, each knowing that knowledge of their affair will bring drastic consequences to each other.

Writers:

(based on the novel), (adaptation) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
The Mother
Arnaud Giovaninetti ...
...
The Younger Brother
...
Helene Lagonelle
Xiem Mang ...
The Chinaman's Father
Philippe Le Dem ...
The French Teacher
Ann Schaufuss ...
Quach Van An ...
The Driver
Tania Torrens ...
The Principal
Raymonde Heudeline ...
The Writer (end)
Yvonne Wingerter ...
The Writer (beginning)
Do Minh Vien ...
Hélène Patarot ...
The Assistant Mistress
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Storyline

It is French Colonial Vietnam in 1929. A young French girl from a family that is having some monetary difficulties is returning to boarding school. She is alone on public transportation when she catches the eye of a wealthy Chinese businessman. He offers her a ride into town in the back of his chauffeured sedan, and sparks fly. Can the torrid affair that ensues between them overcome the class restrictions and social mores of that time? Based on the semi-autobiographical novel by Maugerite Duras. Written by Cal Lott <cal.lott@gsb.uchicago.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

She gave her innocence, her passion, her body. The one thing she couldn't give was her love.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R on appeal for graphic and explicit sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

| |

Language:

Release Date:

30 October 1992 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Lover  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Gross:

$4,899,194 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (R-rated)

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jane March denied that she and 'Tony Leung Ka Fai' actually made love. (March: "I never had sex with Tony on or off the set. It's as simple as that.") All the sex scenes were done with careful choreography and body doubles. Director Jean-Jacques Annaud falsely implied the sex was real to boost publicity for the film, thus the sex-crazed English tabloid press trumpeted the rumor on its front pages for days, making life so miserable for March and her family that she got physically sick and had a nervous breakdown. March then fled to the Seychelles to escape. Annaud later stated the sex was not real, "At first I was flattered people believed [the sex]. But after that... I stopped doing press in Britain. Of course they didn't have sex." See more »

Goofs

Her lover smokes filtered cigarettes in 1929. They were not invented until the mid-'30s and not in common use until the 1950s. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Narrator: Very early in my life, it was too late. At eighteen it was already too late. At eighteen I aged. This aging was brutal. This aging, I saw it spread over my features, one by one. Instead of being frightened by it, I saw this aging of my face with the same sort of interest I might have taken for example in the reading of a book. That new face I kept it. It's kept the same contours, but its matter is destroyed. I have a destroyed face. Let me tell you again: I'm fifteen and a half. ...
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Connections

Featured in The Rainmaker (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

Waltz in B minor Opus 69 No. 2
Written by Frédéric Chopin (as Chopin)
Performed by Howard Shelley
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User Reviews

 
One Image
2 June 2004 | by (Virginia Beach) – See all my reviews

I continue to be amazed at what works in this huge experiment in the social imagination we call film.

One thing that really impresses me is how one image will stick in your mind. One image around which it seems the whole rest of the project revolves and supports. I usually write IMDb comments very soon after seeing or reseeing a film.

In this case, I was so struck by that one image I resolved to wait three months before commenting. It stuck.

That image is the one which is used in the promotion and presumably is what the filmmaker considers its essence: the 15 year old girl in defiantly non-school clothes with an incongruous man's hat on the ferry. She is observing and consciously observed. It is we who observe her and enjoy her sensuality then and later just as the Chinese observer does. He is our surrogate, defining the strange situation of a being in the wrong place: Chinese being then more of a 'minority' in Vietnam than Europeans.

Exotic ordinariness. Emerging awarenesses as justification for being. No, more: revelling in existence. Transition as destination.

It is odd how charged this one image is, and how competently it justifies the whole project. Just as the lover is left puzzling why, so are we. So are we, and the fact that no easy answer appears is why this sticks so.

Ted's Evaluation -- 3 of 3: Worth watching.


42 of 53 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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