6.4/10
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Venus Beauty (1999)

Vénus beauté (institut) (original title)
Employees of a beauty parlor in search of love and happiness.

Director:

Tonie Marshall

Writers:

Tonie Marshall (screenplay), Tonie Marshall (dialogue) | 2 more credits »

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8 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Nathalie Baye ... Angèle Piana
Bulle Ogier ... Madame Nadine, la patronne
Samuel Le Bihan ... Antoine DuMont
Jacques Bonnaffé ... Jacques
Mathilde Seigner ... Samantha
Audrey Tautou ... Marie
Robert Hossein ... L'aviateur
Marie Rivière ... La cliente aux bottines fourées
Edith Scob ... La cliente aux taches sur les mains
Hélène Fillières ... La fiancée d'Antoine (as Hélène Filières)
Brigitte Roüan Brigitte Roüan ... Madame Marianne
Claire Nebout Claire Nebout ... La cliente exhibitioniste
Micheline Presle ... Tante Maryse
Emmanuelle Riva ... Tante Lyda
Elli Medeiros ... Mlle Evelyne
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Storyline

Madam Nadine manages with pride the "Vénus beauté" Salon which offers relaxation, massage and make-up services. The owner and her three beauticians: Samantha, Marianne and Angèle are pros. Contrary to her friend Marianne, who still dreams of the big day, Angèle no longer believes in love. Marie, the youngest of the three employees, discovers love in the hands of a sixty year-old former pilot, who risks everything... Written by L.H. Wong <lhw@sfs.org.sg>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Welcome to the Venus Beauty Institute where love, innocence and sex are a sight to behold.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexuality/nudity and language | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

France

Language:

French

Release Date:

3 February 1999 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Venus Beauty Institute See more »

Filming Locations:

Paris, France

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$32,150, 29 October 2000, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$416,464, 23 September 2001
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Veteran French actress Micheline Presle, who cameos as a spinster aunt, is actually the mother of director Tonie Marshall. See more »

Quotes

Angele: When you smile I find you handsome.
Jacques: That's because you know my soul.
See more »

Connections

Followed by Venus and Apollo (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

You Are the Woman
Written by N. Neidhart, J.M. Marrier
Performed by D'Unnienville
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Very pink
1 August 2004 | by DeeNine-2See all my reviews

This stars Nathalie Baye, not Audrey Tautou, of Amélie (2001) fame. (She has a supporting role.) Baye is Angèle, a 40-year-old Parisian beautician who has loved and lost a few too many times. Indeed, as the film opens we (and Samuel Le Bihan as Antoine) watch and hear her being dumped once again. Well, she is careless with men. She is perhaps too "easy." She picks up men, the wrong ones. She is aggressive in her desire. And now she has become cynical. All she wants now are one-nights stands, no more love, no more unbreak my heart. Love is too painful.

So when Antoine falls in love with her at something like first sight (I do have a weakness for love at first sight: it is so, so daring, and so, shall we say, unpredictable) she rejects him out of hand even though he is a vital and handsome artist, confident and winning. What IS her problem? But he pursues her even though he is engaged to another (Hélène Fillières). And when she gets drunk and wants some casual sex with him, he says no. He wants her fully in control of her faculties.

So this is a romantic comedy of sorts centered around a beauty parlor. However any resemblance to Hollywood movies in the same genre (Shampoo (1975) and Hairspray (1988) somehow come to mind) is purely coincidental. Here the salon is brightly and colorfully lit with a tinker bell as the door opens, and the clientele are eclectic to say the least: an exhibitionist who arrives in a raincoat and nothing else; a rich old man lusting after Tautou; a woman with oozing pimples on her...(never mind)...etc.

What makes this work so well is a completely winning performance by Baye, sharp direction by Toni Marshall, and a kind of quirky and blunt realism that eschews all cliché. Tautou fans will be disappointed in her modest part, but she is just adorable in that role. The voyeur scene in which she is willingly seduced by the rich old guy may raise your libido or your envy depending on where you're coming from. Ha!

See this for Nathalie Baye who gives the performance of a lifetime, simultaneously subtle and strong, vulnerable and willful. She makes us identify with her character and she makes us wish her love.

(Note: Over 500 of my movie reviews are now available in my book "Cut to the Chaise Lounge or I Can't Believe I Swallowed the Remote!" Get it at Amazon!)


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