An influential man in war torn France, Julien Alberi, is contacted by a woman who wants his help in getting a job for her daughter Emma. Alberi, who is instrumental in placing the girl as a zoo attendant, is surprised when he discovers Emma at her place of work. He is taken by her beauty, and he remembers something about her that stuck in his mind, she is proud of bathing every day!
With Emma in his mind, he invites her to come in one night for supper in his spacious apartment, to the chagrin of his loyal housekeeper, Anna. The rendezvous goes much better than Julien had expected when he gets his way with his protegee, beginning an affair that will end badly, as Emma demands much more than what Alberi is willing to give her, and because of the difference in their ages, plus a bad heart that is killing Julien slowly.
This made for television feature was shown on a cable channel recently. Based on a novel "Le bon vieux et la belle infant", by Italo Svevo, it was adapted by director Claude Goretta and Pascal Lame for the screen. Basically, it is a frank account in a relationship that is going nowhere. Julien, a widower, suddenly awakens to a passion that proves too much for his weak condition. Anna, the older woman in charge of Alberi's household loves him silently, although he does not feel anything for her. The film does not go anywhere after Julien realizes he was instrumental in debauching Emma. The movie is derailed by its own pomposity in dealing with the subject.
Veteran actor Michel Duchaussoy appears as the older Julien. Best thing in the film is Frederique Meininger, who plays the servant Anna with dignity. Lovely Nathalie Quenard bares it all for the camera and for the viewer's pleasure with abandon. She is a sight for sore eyes, indeed!
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