7.8/10
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49 user 33 critic

La belle noiseuse (1991)

Unrated | | Drama | 4 September 1991 (France)
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:

Writers:

(scenario), (scenario) | 4 more credits »
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5 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview:
...
Edouard Frenhofer
...
Liz
...
Marianne
...
Julienne
David Bursztein ...
Nicolas
Gilles Arbona ...
Porbus
Marie Belluc ...
Magali
Marie-Claude Roger ...
Françoise
Leïla Remili ...
La servante
Daphne Goodfellow ...
Deux touristes
Susan Robertson ...
Deux touristes
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:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

|

Release Date:

4 September 1991 (France)  »

Also Known As:

A Bela Impertinente  »

Filming Locations:


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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,887, 26 November 2017, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$408,571
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (dvd)

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Frenhofer mentions a sculptor, Rubek, and his model, Irene, who both died in Norway. This is a reference to a play by Henrik Ibsen, 'When We Dead Awake'. 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 »

Connections

Version of Divertimento (1992) See more »

Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

I guess I enjoy watching paint dry
28 May 2001 | by See all my reviews

Until last night, I have shied away from this film due to its daunting 4-hour length. But watching Jacques Rivette's "La Belle Noiseuse" was not nearly as difficult as I feared it might be. In fact, it actually feels liberating to watch a film that doesn't limit itself to a predetermined time constraint. With most films that rely heavily on an advancing plot, any possible lulls may wear on the viewer. "La Belle Noiseuse" boldly eschews the artifice of plot and standard pacing, and deeply focuses on its story of an artist, Frenhofer (played by Michel Piccoli), finding inspiration in a young model (played by Emmanuelle Beart) to paint again after a 10-year hiatus.

The drawing scenes alone really held my interest. Presented with little dialogue, they really made me feel as if I were witnessing art unfold, which is nothing less than exhilarating. It was also fascinating to see this in combination with the subtle development and changes that take place within Beart's character, Marianne, as she transforms from a fidgety, resentful subject to an impassioned muse who sheds away all corporeal pretense and lends her bare soul to the canvas. Giving support to the complex and nuanced performances of the two leads, the waiflike Jane Birkin is also a standout in the role of Liz, the artist's wife, especially in the later scenes in which she expresses conflict with her husband's art.

I am glad that I have finally seen this movie, and I definitely encourage anyone with a curiosity about this movie to see it too. All it requires is four hours of your time and an open mind. "La Belle Noiseuse" is an extremely long film, but never boring. Watching this film is like slowly immersing your body into a hot bath. Your enjoyment of it all depends on how willing you are to adapt yourself to its pacing. But like a hot bath, it takes a little adjustment.


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