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Elective Affinities (1996)
"Le affinità elettive" (original title)

6.2
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Ratings: 6.2/10 from 462 users  
Reviews: 8 user | 9 critic

Early in the 19th century, Edward and Carlotta, in love 20 years ago, find each other and marry. After a year's bliss at his Tuscan villa, Edward begs to invite Otto, an architect and ... See full summary »

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Title: Elective Affinities (1996)

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Cast

Credited cast:
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Marchese
Laura Marinoni ...
Marchesa
Consuelo Ciatti ...
Stefania Fuggetta ...
Agostina
Gavino Bondioli ...
Guardiacaccia
Massimo Grigo ...
Cameriere
Adelaide Foti ...
Albergatrice
Giancarlo Carboni ...
Medico
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Storyline

Early in the 19th century, Edward and Carlotta, in love 20 years ago, find each other and marry. After a year's bliss at his Tuscan villa, Edward begs to invite Otto, an architect and friend, to join them. She has forebodings of disaster, but relents. Otto arrives, and to balance the dynamics, Carlotta invites her teenage godchild Ottilia to join them. Ottilia stirs Edward, Otto and Carlotta are attracted to each other, and these longings produce in Edward and Carlotta a night of passion that results in pregnancy. Otto leaves for Venice, Edward leaves for war, and a baby looking like Otto and Ottilia is born. Can anything be put right? Can the four return to their initial happiness? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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Comedy | Drama | Romance

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Release Date:

17 May 1996 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

Elective Affinities  »

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Connections

Version of Les affinités électives (1982) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Slow, very slow
11 February 2001 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I was going to write a review of this, but there is little I can add to Peter Shelley's very perceptive review (at Amazon's video store). I will relate my experience with the video. I chose it more or less at random, as I sometimes do (in this way I try to extent my horizons, or at least to come face to face with something different), but partially because it starred French actress Isabelle Huppert, whose work I admire. As I shifted in my seat through the languid development, I thought how odd and how out of sync with a modern story this is! Strangely coy and even "Victorian" for an Italian movie! After some time it occurred to me that the only explanation is that it was adapted from an eighteenth century novel! For some reason The Sorrows of Young Werther came to mind. When I discovered that Elective Affinities was indeed based on a novel by Goethe, I was very pleased with myself until I noticed on the video jacket a reference to Goethe that I must have read and forgotten.

Let me quote a passage from Goethe's novel, Elective Affinities (1808) found in Bartlett's Familiar Quotations that goes a long ways toward explaining why Carlotta (Huppert) does not immediately divorce her cheating husband and take up with the dashing architect: "The sum which two married people owe to one another defies calculation. It is an infinite debt, which can only be discharged through all eternity." Carlotta represents Goethe's point of view.

I would also like to note that this is not Huppert at her best. She is too much long of face, and that sly cynicism of hers is a little too much on display. Additionally (I guess I can't help but review this a little!) the self-satisfied privilege of the upper classes depicted here allows one to understand the reasons for the revolutions that would again and again threaten the old order in Europe throughout the nineteenth century and into the twentieth.

(Note: Over 500 of my movie reviews are now available in my book "Cut to the Chaise Lounge or I Can't Believe I Swallowed the Remote!" Get it at Amazon!)


4 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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