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Manoel de Oliveira
Luís Miguel Cintra
People and life can be cruel, and in their face, Fannette is cool: toward an old acquaintance, to her daughter, to colleagues. Beneath the surface, she roils with passion for a lost love, Philippe. She watches "An Affair to Remember" again and again, and when she receives a letter from Philippe asking her to meet him atop the Empire State Building, she swoons. She's writing a book on an aged painter, so she organizes a trip to New York ostensibly to secure photographs of some of his pieces. The publisher assigns her a photographer, Matt, on the surface spontaneous and flip, but also aggressive about his attraction to her. Will she be with the one she loves? Will she smile? Written by
I really liked this film...the second time I watched it. I recommend a second viewing. Allow yourself just to enjoy it. I'm a film student and I had the good fortune of being assigned Deneuve's later work for my actor study. I watched this picture after seeing several of her well-known "masterworks" such as Indochine, Place Vendome, Ma Saison Preferee, and Les Voleurs. Growing up around film, I had the "Belle de Jour" Deneuve imprinted on my mind. Seeing this film changed that. In truth, this film is rather weak and predictable but it is worth watching just for Deneuve who shows us the other side of the "ice queen". She is quirky, dreamy, and often uncomfortable. Aging beautifully in my opinion, this film allows her to play sides of the human she normally does not touch. Toni Marshall wrote the piece for her and it is truly a homage and a joy to behold. Loved the incorporation of modern art as well. William Hurt seems miscast and slightly off his game, easily attributable to the horrible events of 9/11 that left the whole set distraught. He still manages some great one-liners. Marshall definitely has a clever idea for a film and for many viewers accustomed to foreign cinematic nuances, she will deliver. The DVD has extensive and interesting additional material. It's great to see some Paris, great to see innovative art, and wonderful to see Deneuve adopting a new element.
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