Nathalie is the name a Parisian prostitute assumes for a special mission or "private investigation." She is engaged in this unusual and secretive task by a professional, upper-middle-class ... See full summary »
A brilliant plastic surgeon, haunted by past tragedies, creates a type of synthetic skin that withstands any kind of damage. His guinea pig: a mysterious and volatile woman who holds the key to his obsession.
Nathalie is the name a Parisian prostitute assumes for a special mission or "private investigation." She is engaged in this unusual and secretive task by a professional, upper-middle-class wife who fears that her husband is unfaithful to her. Nathalie has to seduce the clueless husband and regularly report all details of her relationship with him, including his most intimate sexual preferences in bed. Nathalie is stunning, charming, and cunning. Can Nathalie and her reports to the mistrustful wife be trusted? Is the middle aged husband indeed unfaithful? Written by
luiza do brasil
Despite good work from the three main leads (particularly the women), this is yet another self-satisfied would-be mature study of sexual mores in modern bourgeois French society. A man (Gerard Depardieu) who admits to his wife (Fanny Ardant) of having an occasional fling, is tricked by the latter in falling for a luscious stripper (an overage but still stunning Emmanuelle Beart) posing as the fictitious titular character. The ruse seems to work, with Ardant getting the sleazy lowdown from Beart soon after her every clandestine meeting with Depardieu. But everything is not as it seems...
Starting from the far-fetched premise that a woman would go to all that trouble to win her straying husband back, why should she then still act so coldly to him in private? Actually, I was expecting Ardant to adopt Beart's tricks-of-the-trade in her nightly dealings with Depardieu and not going out and having her own little flings. Anyway, the film is too episodically structured to be anything but a series of tale-telling (in the frankest possible manner, as can be expected from the French) of illicit rendezvous and one grows impatient with the film once he realizes that it's going nowhere very slowly.
As I said, however, the acting is top-notch and Michael Nyman's score is typically arresting. Being that the film is directed by a woman, I suppose that some sort of pro-feminist statement is being made here but, personally, I was far more intrigued by the tantalizing promise (on the DVD sleeve) of watching Beart's routines as a stripper - of which there were far too few (and far too chaste to boot for my liking), alas...
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