Walter, 24, is a wrestler, competing for a spot on the national team when he learns of his sister's brutal death. He comes home to help his mother; he works out, takes a dead-end job, and ... See full summary »
During France's belle époque before World War I, elegant cars, mansions, and servants defined the lives of les grandes horizontals, the courtesans of kings and millionaires. One of the most successful, Lea de Lonval, is approaching a certain age when an older associate, Charlotte Peloux, asks Lea to take on her 19 year old son, whom Lea has called Chéri since he was a child. They become lovers and, to their surprise, the relationship lasts six years. When it ends abruptly with a marriage his mother arranges to the daughter of another courtesan, Lea finds herself miserable. Has she fallen in love? If so, do she -- and Chéri - have any choices? Written by
When the project was in development during the 1990s, Jessica Lange planned to star as Léa de Lonval. See more »
In the closing credits, 'thanks' are given to France's national railway, the Societe National Chemin de Fer, known as the "SNCF". However the credits have the letters out of sequence, calling it the "SCNF". See more »
We may think ourselves familiar in this day and age with the notion that whores of every description can very easily achieve fame and fortune. But towards the end of the 19th century, there what came to be known in France as the "Belle Epoque", a select group of courtesans, who became for a short period, the most celebrated and powerful women in the long history of prostitution.
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Stephen Frears and Michelle Pfeiffer reunite to create an intense period piece called 'Cheri'. Frears's presentation of the courtesan culture in the 1800s is interesting and the captivating visuals, elegant sets and costumes grab the viewer's attention. It's a visual treat to watch thanks to the first rate art direction and cinematography. Frears's attention to detail is remarkable as he subtly demonstrates the contrast between the culture and class of the characters. The focus of 'Cheri' is the relationship between Cheri (Rupert Friend) and Lea (Michelle Pfeiffer). Lea is decades older and a former rival courtesan of Cheri's mother (Kathy Bates). Cheri and Lea fall in love but because of society's norm, their relationship must remain a secret. I liked that Pfeiffer's Lea wasn't a vamp seductress and that she genuinely wants Cheri to do right by his wife except during moments of weakness. Michelle Pfeiffer is spellbinding as she owns the part. I couldn't imagine anyone else do a better Lea. Kathy Bates is just as good as Madame Peloux and Rupert Friend is competent in the title role. Frears has created another winner. 'Cheri' could have easily been a melodramatic soap opera type movie but Frears keeps it subtle and smooth. It might not be everyone's kind of film but it's stunning to look at and captivating.
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