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Elective Affinities (1996)

Le affinità elettive (original title)
The novel (1809) by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. The marriage of Edward and Charlotte gets worse with the arrival at the castle Young Ottilia, grandson of Carlotta, and Brass. Edward is ... See full summary »
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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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Narrator (voice)
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Storyline

The novel (1809) by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. The marriage of Edward and Charlotte gets worse with the arrival at the castle Young Ottilia, grandson of Carlotta, and Brass. Edward is attracted to Ottilia, Carlotta by Otto. The action is moved from Germany to Tuscany San Miniato and Poggio a Caiano and moved chronologically Napoleonic era (but the finishing touches are several).

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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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Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?

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!)


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