Updated adaptation of Choderlos de Laclos' classic 18th Century tale of seduction, betrayal and revenge set in the modern 1960s world of Parisian high society. The beautiful Madame de ... See full summary »
Updated adaptation of Choderlos de Laclos' classic 18th Century tale of seduction, betrayal and revenge set in the modern 1960s world of Parisian high society. The beautiful Madame de Merteuil seeks vengeance against her ex-lover Gercourt when he becomes engaged to her young goddaughter, Cécile. Merteuil turns to her ex-lover/partner-in-crime, Valmont, famous for his reputation as a Don Juan, to seduce Cécile and emotionally destroy her. While on his mission, Valmont gets sidetracked when he goes to visit his aunt and falls for Madame Tourvel, a virtuous, married woman who knows of his womanizing ways, but that only makes the challenge more exciting to Valmont. Together, Madame de Merteuil and Valmont make a dangerous team and they will stop at nothing when it comes to matters of the heart. Written by
*** It is strange that I could have gotten them mixed up.
But perhaps not really.
I don't think Deneuve laughs or cries in 'Les Liaisons Dangereuses.' But the laughter I mentioned before in'Indochine'.
I don't think I remember any laughter in 'Indochine.' It now comes back.
Those sounds of Lalique were Deneuve's acting of weeping.
It is a most oddly inhuman sound when she "cries" on screen.
I wonder if her emotional range is limited to "great-actressy" sounds, because it is undeniable that she is a great actress.
Yes, those sounds are DIFFERENT.
They are parallel to the voices one hears that are mechanically produced and you hear them on the telephone.
Somehow robotic, but the sounds of Deneuve crying are moving. They sound like someone who can't quite cry. There hadn't been room for it before, so the ability was lost for her.
Or maybe they are the cries and tears of a kind of nobility. Maybe all her real grief is mute and experienced without any sounds, so that when she must weep in a role--and that weeping has to bow to convention in that it has to be heard as some kind of tears that a general public can understand as such--it inevitably sounds artificial.
Her most convincing emotions are anger and disgust. Expressions of dissembling are frequent, but an unadulterated joyousness does not seem to be in her repertoire.
We hear "French National Treasure" and we hear the inner revolt against this form of high machinic enslavement, a Deleuzian concept that can be found at the higher social levels just as at the lower. (I should have pointed out in my long notes on 'Les Liaisons Dangereuses', for anyone not familiar with 'Wild Palms', that I saw the former film in some ways an "heir" to the latter. 'Wild palms' was of course the Oliver Stone/Bruce Wagner miniseries of 1993, in which the Church of Synthiotics is a mutation of the Church of Scientology.
'Wild Palms' was more obviously cyber-oriented than 'Liaisons', but the modernization of 'Liaisons', a thing I can rarely bear personally whether in theatre or opera, does here make the thing even more menacing, regardless of the fact, pointed out by other reviewers, that a few things just will not quite translate from the bewigged period.)
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