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L'ennui (1998)

6.3
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 1,435 users   Metascore: 59/100
Reviews: 22 user | 29 critic | 12 from Metacritic.com

A philosophy teacher restless with the need to do something with his life meets a young woman suspected of driving an artist to his death. He finds the very simple Cecilia irritating but ... See full summary »

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Title: L'ennui (1998)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Martin
...
Cécilia
...
Sophie
Robert Kramer ...
Meyers
Alice Grey ...
Cécilia's Mother
Maurice Antoni ...
Cécilia's Father
Tom Ouedraogo ...
Momo
Patrick Arrachequesne ...
Doctor
Mirtha Caputi Medeiros ...
Meyers' concierge
Pierre Chevalier ...
University dean
Oury Milshtein ...
Jean-Paul
Anne-Sophie Morillon ...
Agnes
Marc Chouppart ...
Ferdinand
Cécile Reigher ...
Ferdinand's girlfriend
Antoine Beau ...
Pierre
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Storyline

A philosophy teacher restless with the need to do something with his life meets a young woman suspected of driving an artist to his death. He finds the very simple Cecilia irritating but develops a sexual rapport with her. Obsessed with the need to own and tormented by her inability to respond to him, he becomes increasingly violent in a quest he can't name - a quest that slowly begins to undermine his certainties. Written by L.H. Wong <lhw@sfs.org.sg>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Romance | Drama

Certificate:

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Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

16 December 1998 (France)  »

Also Known As:

L'ennui  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$14,064 (USA) (8 October 1999)

Gross:

$36,666 (USA) (15 October 1999)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Sophie: Abstinence is turning you sour; give it up.
Martin: I have.
Sophie: Really? Do I know her?
Martin: No, I met her in odd circumstances a few weeks ago.
Sophie: Really? You must be pleased.
Martin: You're quite wrong, I don't like her at all. She's totally uninteresting. I'm trying to get rid of her.
Sophie: Why? Is she ugly?
Martin: Not particularly.
Sophie: Is she stupid then?
Martin: No. Not at all. She never says anything stupid. It's complicated. She bores me. I have no contact with her. Or rather only physical contact.
[...]
See more »

Connections

References Jade (1988) See more »

Soundtracks

Siegfried Idyl
Composed by Richard Wagner (as Wagner)
Performed by Lizt Chamber Orchestra
Conducted by Ervin Lukács (as Ervin Lukacs)
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User Reviews

 
L' ENNUI (Cedric Kahn, 1998) **1/2
16 March 2006 | by (Naxxar, Malta) – See all my reviews

Yet another overheated French melodrama about sexual obsession, this time based on an old Alberto Moravia novel.

While the three main roles are more than adequately filled by Charles Berling, Sophie Guillemin and Arielle Dombasle, the surfeit of pretentious talk wears the film down and soon grows tiresome (even to hardened art-house film addicts like myself). The main reason to keep watching (apart from the copious sex scenes, of course) is to follow Berling's gradual deterioration from a merely curious seeker of a casual sexcapade to fully-fledged manic depressive. Having a teenaged, plump ugly duckling as the object of his desire has some novelty value, but ultimately her character is so distant and self-centered that one cannot fully empathize with Berling's plight. Also, I haven't read the novel myself but the (relative) happy ending seems misjudged. The vaguely surreal dinner sequences where Berling is introduced to the girl's parents as her music teacher (especially those scenes featuring her cancer-ridden, speech-impaired father) ironically offer a respite from all the glumness but, in retrospect, seem to belong to a totally different film.

Italian film director Damiano Damiani had previously adapted the same source material for the screen as LA NOIA aka THE EMPTY CANVAS (1963) which starred Horst Buchholz, Catherine Spaak and Bette Davis (as Buchholz' mother!), a role which was omitted completely by Cedric Kahn for his modern version. I haven't watched the Damiani film but I would certainly like to, especially since it features a good cast: besides those already mentioned, Isa Miranda, Georges Wilson and Daniela Rocca, also appear.


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