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La Belle Noiseuse (1991)

La belle noiseuse (original title)
Unrated | | Drama | 4 September 1991 (France)
Trailer
1:48 | Trailer
The former famous painter Frenhofer revisits an abandoned project using the girlfriend of a young visiting artist. Questions about truth, life, and artistic limits are explored.

Director:

Jacques Rivette

Writers:

Pascal Bonitzer (scenario), Christine Laurent (scenario) | 4 more credits »
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Popularity
4,595 ( 320)
5 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview:
Michel Piccoli ... Edouard Frenhofer
Jane Birkin ... Liz
Emmanuelle Béart ... Marianne
Marianne Denicourt ... Julienne
David Bursztein David Bursztein ... Nicolas
Gilles Arbona Gilles Arbona ... Porbus
Marie Belluc Marie Belluc ... Magali
Marie-Claude Roger Marie-Claude Roger ... Françoise
Leïla Remili Leïla Remili ... La servante
Daphne Goodfellow Daphne Goodfellow ... Deux touristes
Susan Robertson Susan Robertson ... Deux touristes
Bernard Dufour Bernard Dufour ... La main du peintre
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Storyline

The former famous painter Frenhofer lives quietly with his wife in his countryside residence in the French Provence. When the young artist Nicolas visits him with his girlfriend Marianne, Frenhofer decides to start working again on a painting called 'La Belle Noiseuse', which he gave up a long time ago. And he wants Marianne as a model. The ensuing creative process will change the characters' lives. It will become a struggle for truth and meaning, and the question about the limits of art will arise. Written by Jens Bertheau <bertheau@mi-lab.fh-furtwangen.de>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The torment of creating the naked beauty on canvas!

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

France | Switzerland

Language:

French | English

Release Date:

4 September 1991 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

A Bela Impertinente See more »

Filming Locations:

Assas, Hérault, France

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,887, 26 November 2017

Gross USA:

$403,056

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$403,056
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (dvd)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The title translates to "The Beautiful Troublemaker" or perhaps to "The Beautiful Provocateur." See more »

Goofs

When Porbus, Nicolas and Marianne approach Frenhofer's house for the first time, as they cross the street their shadows are towards the camera, but when they walk up the stairs, their shadows are now in front of them - a turnaround of about 135 degrees. See more »

Alternate Versions

Short version (125 minutes, less nudity, brighter lighting, almost different takes and editing) titled "Divertimento" showing for TV, then released theatrically in 1993. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Neon Demon (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

Petrouchka
Music by Igor Stravinsky
Performed by Orchestre National Ortf (as Orchestre National de la RTF)
Conducted by Pierre Monteux
(avec l'autorisation des disques Montaigne)
See more »

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User Reviews

A great Rivette
7 March 2004 | by berengar-1See all my reviews

All I love about Rivette is in this film, and lots of it.

(1) The actors create 'souls', personalities and stratagems for their characters in collaboration with Laurent, Bonitzer and Rivette, instead of reciting cut and dried parts. Piccoli, Béart, Birkin and the others work little miracles all the time: their interactions feel shrewd, humane, intense, both mysterious where some background is yet missing to the viewer and utterly believable once it is revealed, without trace of the usual high-strung film acting centered on the single significant moment and rammed down the public's throat in so many contemporary movies.

(2) The setting, the Chateau d'Assas, is completely integrated into and driving the story, and is cleverly employed and fully respected in the mise èn scéne: it is not a quarry for illustrative backdrops and environments, but a real space conditioning the story just like the personalities involved.

(3) The mise èn scéne and cadrage always leave the necessary breathing space and time for story and personality development and interaction. Nothing is ever forced or abbreviated - and yes, this makes movies longer.

The 'plot' is typical for Rivette, as it contains a subtle fantastic element: here the idea, that a painter could find, sum up, condense and make visible the complete essence of a person in a painting. This fantasy lends urgency to the old dichotomies of life and art, of love and creativity. It is otherwise a mere pretext to set the story in motion and expose the characters. (In Balzac's 'Chef d-oeuvre inconnu', the attempt of Frenhofer to capture his model completely only led to a completely unreadable painting.)

The scenes where Marianne models for Frenhofer are to my knowledge unique in cinema. They represent transparently both the very subtle interaction between painter and model, and the genesis of the resulting sketch.

To show spontaneous sketching of highest quality, the hand of Bertrand Dufour was filmed while drawing/painting the posing Béart. Then Piccoli incorporated the gestures of the hand of Dufour into the scenes of Frenhofer and Marianne. Given the complexity and freedom in their interaction, the tension and homogeneity of the assembled scenes is quite a miracle.

No numerical vote, of course: one must never allow the quality of a piece of art to be in any way a subject to voting.


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