7.8/10
5,095
49 user 33 critic

La belle noiseuse (1991)

Unrated | | Drama | 4 September 1991 (France)
The former famous painter Frenhofer revisits an abandoned project using the girlfriend of a young visiting artist. Questions about truth, life, and artistic limits are explored.

Director:

Writers:

(scenario), (scenario) | 4 more credits »
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

5 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Divertimento (1992)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

More than just an abbreviated form of "La Belle Noiseuse", Rivette re-cut his footage with some important differences in point of view - this one being more from Marianne's point of view.

Director: Jacques Rivette
Stars: Michel Piccoli, Jane Birkin, Emmanuelle Béart
Drama | Fantasy | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Julien lives alone with his cat. He dreams of Marie, and a few minutes later, he sees her on the street and makes a date. He asks her to move in with him, and she does. Her boyfriend is ... See full summary »

Director: Jacques Rivette
Stars: Emmanuelle Béart, Jerzy Radziwilowicz, Anne Brochet
The Nun (1966)
Certificate: GP Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

In eighteenth-century France a girl (Suzanne Simonin) is forced against her will to take vows as a nun. Three mothers superior (Madame de Moni, Sister Sainte-Christine, and Madame de ... See full summary »

Director: Jacques Rivette
Stars: Anna Karina, Liselotte Pulver, Micheline Presle
Comedy | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A mysteriously linked pair of young women find their daily lives preempted by a strange boudoir melodrama that plays itself out in a hallucinatory parallel reality.

Director: Jacques Rivette
Stars: Juliet Berto, Dominique Labourier, Bulle Ogier
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Quick-witted, well-read cultured types revolve around each other in a delightful potpourri of theatre, romanticism and theft.

Director: Jacques Rivette
Stars: Jeanne Balibar, Sergio Castellitto, Marianne Basler
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Beautiful violin virtuoso Camille has two obsessions: the music of Ravel, and a friend of her husband's who crafts violins. But his heart seems to be as cold as her playing is passionate.

Director: Claude Sautet
Stars: Daniel Auteuil, Emmanuelle Béart, André Dussollier
Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A drama following 4 women at stage school. Considered by some to be the summation of director Jacques Rivette's work as a whole.

Director: Jacques Rivette
Stars: Bulle Ogier, Benoît Régent, Fejria Deliba
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

When Nelly, a woman being just divorced, meets by chance M. Arnaud, a mature salesman just retired, begins a strange and special relationship between the two personalities.

Director: Claude Sautet
Stars: Emmanuelle Béart, Michel Serrault, Jean-Hugues Anglade
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

"Out 1" is a very precise picture of post May 1968 malaise - when Utopian dreams of a new society had crashed and burned, radical terrorism was starting to emerge in unlikely places and a ... See full summary »

Directors: Jacques Rivette, Suzanne Schiffman
Stars: Michèle Moretti, Hermine Karagheuz, Karen Puig
L'amour fou (1969)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

During the rehearsals for the production of the tragedy Andromaque, the leading actress and her director, a couple behind the scenes, can't find a way to leave their personal problems at ... See full summary »

Director: Jacques Rivette
Stars: Bulle Ogier, Jean-Pierre Kalfon, Josée Destoop
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

In Paris, the pedantic Alexandre lives with his mate Marie in her apartment, an open relationship. Alexandre, who is idle and chauvinist, spends his days reading, drinking and shagging ... See full summary »

Director: Jean Eustache
Stars: Bernadette Lafont, Jean-Pierre Léaud, Françoise Lebrun
Edit

Cast

Cast overview:
...
...
Liz
...
...
David Bursztein ...
Gilles Arbona ...
Marie Belluc ...
Magali
Marie-Claude Roger ...
Françoise
Leïla Remili ...
La servante
Daphne Goodfellow ...
Deux touristes
Susan Robertson ...
Deux touristes
Bernard Dufour ...
La main du peintre
Edit

Storyline

The former famous painter Frenhofer lives quietly with his wife in his countryside residence in the French Provence. When the young artist Nicolas visits him with his girlfriend Marianne, Frenhofer decides to start working again on a painting called 'La Belle Noiseuse', which he gave up a long time ago. And he wants Marianne as a model. The ensuing creative process will change the characters' lives. It will become a struggle for truth and meaning, and the question about the limits of art will arise. Written by Jens Bertheau <bertheau@mi-lab.fh-furtwangen.de>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

painter | artist | provence | model | art | See All (35) »

Taglines:

The torment of creating the naked beauty on canvas!

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

|

Language:

|

Release Date:

4 September 1991 (France)  »

Also Known As:

A Bela Impertinente  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Gross:

$408,571 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (dvd)

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The title translates to "The Beautiful Troublemaker" or perhaps to "The Beautiful Provocateur." See more »

Goofs

In Frenhofer's studio, the position of Marianne's legs changes between the long shot (right leg bent and forward) and close shot (left leg bent and forward) when Frenhofer is telling them that they will be unhappy as well. See more »

Connections

Version of Divertimento (1992) See more »

Soundtracks

Agon
Music by Igor Stravinsky
Performed by Sinfonie-Orchester des Südwestfunks (as Orchestre de Südwestfunk de Baden-Baden)
Conducted by Hans Rosbaud
(avec l'autorisation des disques Adès)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

A Great Film About Art and the Artistic Process
23 August 2004 | by (Denver, CO) – See all my reviews

"La Belle Noiseuse" is one of the most unusual films of our time, or any other, a four hour excursion into the convoluted, and sometimes scary, process of creating a work of art. A low-key film that makes all of its points casually, "La Belle Noiseuse" never tells the viewer how to feel or think about its events and characters, but gives suggestions instead, with a line of realistic dialogue, or the length of a shot, or an unexpected closeup. This is the modus operandi for most of the great French films, and here, director Jacques Rivette outdoes himself and the majority of his contemporaries.

The film captures several salient features of painting, and of viewing a finished work in a gallery or museum. Rivette lingers on the artist Frenhofer's hand, and his pen and brush strokes, to show the chaotic and unpredictable way a portrait comes together, revealing the artistic mind as no other film I know of. Each finished sketch is a revelation, because it only partially resembles the subject, and shows Frenhofer's grasping for something more than just a simple nude figure.

Gradually, as Frenhofer works and studies his subject, Marianne, she becomes a collaborator, pushing and challenging him as much as he provokes her with his silences and his brutal poses. Remarkably, Rivette touches upon all the intricacies of this transition by throwing traditional cinematic pacing out the window. He gives each moment of change in both artist and model its due, and that simply takes awhile.

"La Belle Noiseuse" is not a film for everybody, and especially not for those seeking an entertaining weekend diversion. As with many great paintings, and films, viewers have to give up their resistance and relax into what the artist is showing them, which is never simply about the surface of a thing or person or situation. The artist who is truly plugged-in to the currents of life often winds up showing us things we don't understand, or more often, what we don't want to know, because he or she has the patience to look beyond the surface, and to ignore the chatter of polite society. As a result, many artists like Frenhofer are frustrating people to know, because what they do ultimately upsets the comfortable illusions of the world around them, themselves included.

Thus the title, which is generally translated as "the beautiful troublemaker," may not only refer to Marianne, but to Frenhofer as well. The ultimate object of a work of art is to help us see in a new way, whether the perspective is disturbing, or revealing of an aspect of beauty we never previously considered. By any estimate, "La Belle Noiseuse" fulfills these aims many times over.

Michel Piccoli gives one of his very best performances as the self-absorbed, obsessed Frenhofer, and Emmanuel Beart is given the rare opportunity to transcend her mere physical beauty and give us several glimpses into the psyche that Frenhofer is trying to capture on canvas.

A one-of-a-kind film, beautifully photographed and edited.


51 of 55 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?