|Index||3 reviews in total|
Most everybody in Cecilia has a beautiful body but nobody seems to know
how to use them to their own advantage or the audience's. The film is
an exercise in erotic/dramatic filmmaker, however the film's eroticism
is so limited and tame - by today's standards - and the exposition so
uninteresting that one has all they can do to stay interested. Not to
mention the horrendous English-dubbing to only further turn off an
The film follows a woman named Cecilia, a dashing housewife known for tempting men with her gorgeous figure and beautiful assets. One day, Cecilia is victim to a violent assault in the back seat of her chauffeur's car that will forever change the way she has sex. Cecilia turns into a swinger, having sex with numerous different men and partaking in various orgies around town. Her loving husband, while understands his wife's desires and, because of that, begins to embrace an omnisexual lifestyle much like his wife's. Cecilia becomes entangled in what seems to be a crippling case of sex addiction and excess.
Cecilia is played by Muriel Montossé in a role of adequate significance despite the film being named after her. Montossé is gorgeous and possesses a desirable figure, and yet she's given so little to do and say that the dramatic portion of the story fails because the film's protagonist has so little interesting qualities. Montossé does well during some of the sex scenes, some involving multiple different parties, and for that, deserves acclaim to a certain extent. But yet, she can't seem to overcome the limitations and the stunning lameness of the screenplay.
The sex scenes only have a fair amount of eroticism to them. Many of the scenes bear the kind of ordinariness and dismissive qualities one could find by channel-surfing Cinemax after around 11pm. Given the time period of 1983, the sex scenes definitely had a racy factor to them for the time period, but a surprising thirty-one years later they fail to drum up much excitement.
The most noteworthy sex scene is an interracial one between Anthony Foster, who is white, and Ana Paula, who is black. The scene is pretty mild, like the bulk of the sex scenes in Cecilia but has charm because of interracial sex being a taboo at the time. The most noteworthy element of the scene is that Paula accentuates admirable sexual energy throughout the entire scene, although, like most of the film, it gets bogged down by its own blandness.
The scenes that do hold justice are the scenes where the film takes a poetry-in-motion approach to use long takes and sporadically-employed zooms to capture the beauty of life plus the inclusion of naked people. One particular scene in the beginning has the incomparable ability to ease as it involves a naked Montossé softly swimming and soaking in a medium-sized pond filled with flowers and lilypads. The scene is only alleviated in the sound department by the sounds of the water splashing and the quiet sounds of the bugs chirping. Surprisingly this is the scene of the film, along with a later one that assumes much of the same naturalistic characteristics of letting the environment speak for itself. The other scene involves Montossé (yes, nude again) listlessly wandering on an open beach with nothing but the sounds of rushing water and faint wind blowing the background. These scenes eventually lead to others that take place in the middle of the woods or in an explicitly green forest.
Famed pornographic director Jesús Franco directs the film with a strong emphasis on Raymond Heil's attractive, nature cinematography, providing the film with a visual layer that will likely go unnoticed with the prominence of skin. There are so many good pornographic works, however, that even genre-enthusiasts may question wasting their time with Cecilia. It's like a classy drinker of the finest tequilas popping into a liquor store for a bottle of Zarco. Why lower standards?
Starring: Muriel Montossé, Anthony Foster, and Ana Paula. Directed by: Jesús Franco.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Cecilia (Muriel Montosse) Likes to tease her staff by parading her body
before them but one day this backfires and she is raped by three of
them. Far from complaining, Cecilia goes swimming with them and then
takes this as an opportunity to see how far she can go. she wastes no
time in engaging her husband to further sexual adventures which include
extra-marital affairs and threesomes. It all unravels when her husband
tires of her wild abandon.
For a Jess Franco film, the rapes are fairly subdued with the one near the end having the camera pan away quite quickly. The sex scenes have a tenderness that for me, are not typical of Jess Franco. Why is it that when people are having sex on a four-poster bed, the director insists on having one of the posts in camera shot? It is amazing and annoying the number of times that just when a sex scene gets going, there appears a table lamp or a vase or a statuette to spoil it all. Apart from this gripe, the film has a rich lush look by the choice of locations: large country estates with lush gardens and a wild beach scene where Cecilia rides naked on her horse.
To sum up then, not your usual Jess Franco sleaze-fest; actually a beautifully filmed love story. There is nudity and sex aplenty but done with a view to eroticism rather than shock. A film that should be seen, not just by Franco fans but by anyone who cares for good cinema.
aka Sexual Aberrations of a Housewife
** (out of 4)
After being gang raped and then having sex with her husband, a woman (Vicky Adams) discovers that marital sex is a lot better when the relationship is open. This is an extremely rare film from Jess Franco but it's really a straight love story and not a sleazy effort. Franco treats the subject matter with full respect and tries his best to tell an honest story about marriage and the film remains interesting throughout, although not too much really goes on. Lina Romay has a small part as a sex teacher.
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