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
Catherine Deneuve has always been one of my favorite stars, she's been in more good films than most, is obviously a very intelligent woman, an iconic beauty who has worked with the world's best filmmakers, so I try to see her every movie that reaches Brazil (not so many anymore). But this unspeakably inept adaptation of Choderlos de Laclos' timeless classic seems to work only on two levels: as a jaw-dropper for lush costume design and as an involuntary cautious warning against plastic surgery!!
Just see what lousy jobs those doctors have done with Deneuve and Rupert Everett! While Deneuve now goes into a kind of Joan Crawford territory, has difficulty in flexing her facial muscles and has mouth ticks, Everett has had so much Botox that his forehead shines like a surfing board, and he seems perfectly fit to play the creature in a Frankenstein movie. Incapable of moving any muscle from the tip of his hair to his chin, it was fun just to turn off the volume and wonder what "emotions" he was supposed to portray!!
Lovely Nastassja Kinski is once again totally wasted (what's the problem? can't she get a better agent or isn't she interested at all in making decent films?) and likewise is wonderful Danielle Darrieux (who has aged so gracefully and is still beautiful in her 80s).
Josée Dayan has worked a lot for French TV, and must be 1) a very good sport 2) a quick-shooting, budget-respecting, producer's dream kind of director. That's the only explanation I can think of to the fact that, whenever a French miniseries adaptation of a great writer (Cocteau, Hugo, Druon, Balzac, George Sand, Beaumarchais etc) with famous stars gets a green light, she gets to direct it. And she consistently gets to make them always blah.
This is really bad, sorry to say, don't waste your time - especially if you're a fan of the stars. And God forbid those plastic surgeons!! My vote: 1 out of 10 (well, 3 out of 10 if you're in the mood for a mean laugh...)
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