Julien lives alone with his cat. He dreams of Marie, and a few minutes later, he sees her on the street and makes a date. He asks her to move in with him, and she does. Her boyfriend is ... See full summary »
During the rehearsals for the production of the tragedy Andromaque, the leading actress and her director, a couple behind the scenes, can't find a way to leave their personal problems at ... See full summary »
A play within a play within a play within a play. Actors perform a play in a house, an audience member invites them to work in his own home improvising a play around his own life. The line between fiction and reality blur.
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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 »
In Frenhofer's studio, the position of Marianne's legs changes between the long shot (right leg bent and forward) and close shot (left leg bent and forward) when Frenhofer is telling them that they will be unhappy as well. See more »
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 »
An interesting portrayal of the relationship between artists and models
Usually when films portray the relationship between artists and models, they transform it into some soap opera where the artist and model are trying decide whether to be romantically involved. This is NOT one of those films. Picon as the artist and the lovely Emmanuelle Beart as his reluctant model are both too busy wrestling with their own souls to wrestle with each other. Picon is a once-great artist who has been stuck in creative limbo for years, trying to create the one perfect painting. When Beart arrives, he hopes she may be the key to finally unlocking his skills, creating that painting, and regaining his self-with as an artist.
Emmanuelle Beart is dragged into the situation by her boyfriend volunteering her services. She is angry and disgusted at her boyfriend, the artist, and as is revealed, herself. She bares her body to the artist and the audience but more importantly, as the film progresses, she bares her soul. (By the way, Emmanuelle is nude for the majority of her scenes.) Few actresses could pull of the powerfully emotional scenes she does, stripped of clothing and pretense.
The film actually works quite well as a play. Most of the film takes place in the artist's studio and only involves the artist and model. Of course, if it were a play, you have difficulty watching the artist work. And that may be where the movie has pacing problems-- the camera is looking over the artist's shoulder as he draws and paints. The movie sometimes switching gears an becomes a straight, voiceless documentation of an artist actually at work. An an artist myself, I found this fascinating. BUT, as an artist myself, I really wish the director had chosen an artist with a more interesting style! I mean, a woman as lovely as Emmanuelle Beart deserves a Renoir and instead we get a Picasso.....
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