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

 -  Comedy | Drama | Romance  -  17 May 1996 (Italy)
6.1
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Ratings: 6.1/10 from 421 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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Cast

Credited cast:
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...
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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
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
...
Narrator (voice)
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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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friend | architect | baby | foreboding | villa | See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

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Release Date:

17 May 1996 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

Elective Affinities  »

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1.78 : 1
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User Reviews

Doomed love affairs in beautiful scenery 200 years ago
13 September 2012 | by (France) – See all my reviews

Reviewers seem to have struggled with this dramatisation of a sometimes quite modern German novel that came out in 1809, the action being moved from Saxony to a gloriously picturesque Tuscany. I think the problems start with the book, where you have to decide for yourself how serious it is meant to be.

Is the author moving his characters around the chessboard for fun, so we can laugh at their foibles, or is he in deadly earnest about the destructive effects of our strongest emotions? Or should we see a bit of both, enjoying some of the comedy in the initial conflicts of love and duty (to name just two) but deeply sorry at the end over lives lost or blighted? It is a complex work of many layers, too many to discuss here.

A film can only show elements of the story and has to leave out much. Rightly, in my view, it is centred on the basic equation of the middle- aged couple A and B inviting into their quiet lives the unmarried C and D. Sticking to the human trajectory, that goes from innocent love through forbidden love to tragic deaths, it can only hint at or has to ignore many other aspects of the novel: social, cultural, scientific, religious and philosophical.

Perhaps this is why some viewers have not felt satisfied? Is there an appetite for doomed love affairs among rich people in Europe two hundred years ago? I suggest that there will always be if, like this one, they are well told, well cast and well shot (even though the baby's red wig was a bit over the top!).


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