A girl and her art professor get trapped inside a castle-museum after it closes at night. After a little resistance she agrees to have sex with him, but then she sues the professor for rape... See full summary »
Tells the story of María Luisa Bombal, an underground writer in the early twenties trying to reconcile her passionate and very sexual lifestyle with her life as a socialite among Santiago's very conservative elite.
Struggling publisher's agent, in a bad live-in relationship, recruits a romance novelist whose bestsellers document her affair with the agent, and betrayal. She refuses the deal, just to ... See full summary »
Diane, a Parisian of 50, a book editor married with two teen children, has an affair with a twenty-something engineer. He's Emilio, the flat-mate of François, a writer she's coaxing through a second novel. Her husband Philippe, who suspects and then confirms her infidelity, is the attorney defending an older neighbor who stuck a fork in her husband's jugular. We know Diana's affair will end, but how much damage will it do? Will Philippe emulate his murderous client, or will Diana's bathos play out as farce? Can Diana rescue herself from the self-indulgence that comes with lovesickness? Written by
At its best when it captures the feverish substance of her passion
The movie is at its best when it just captures the feverish substance of her passion, which it does vividly and candidly with a striking lack of self-consciousness on Rouan's part. But in its specifics, particularly in how it sets up the various male reactions to her behavior, the movie often seems somewhat schematic and labored, if not tedious. Her husband is defending a woman who stabbed her husband in the neck because of his affair
as he practices and prepares for her defence he copes with his growing
knowledge of Rouan's adultery, and in that process can't help but argue in mitigation of his own wife; the mechanism seems clunky, if only because high-profile murders are such overly familiar, convenient thematic vessels for one thing or the other. The inspiration she provides to her main writer (who names his book after her description of a man's sweat) is too easy an external validation rather than a riding of the waves she creates for herself. The scenes of her trashed state are too much decrepit chic. Not that the overall trajectory doesn't more or less work, but the film constantly seems to be battling its own limitations, the restrictions it places on its central turbulence. The ending certainly seemed to me a very melodramatic signaling of redemption.
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