The only thing more outrageous than French novelist George Sand's torrid love affair with the decadent author Alfred de Musset and her affinity for wearing men's clothing, was the content of her writing. Though Sand (otherwise known as the Baroness Dudevant) smoked cigars and cross-dressed, it was the boldness of her writing on issues such as the abstinence of marriage and women's frigidity that most contributed to the scandalous reputation she earned in French literary circles. When she met Alfred de Musset, the most gifted poet of his generation, the two quickly became a public cause celebrity while their work would go on to become some of the finest examples of 19th century romanticism.Written by
Sujit R. Varma
Love does exist, it's not an illusion. One merely has to recognise it, and be humble before it.
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The original French theatrical version, which runs at 135 mins begins as Sand plans to leave her husband and Musset's father dies. This version continues after their final meeting as Sand begins to write her story and attempts in vain to see Musset one last time. This version ends with a direct to camera address by Sand at Musset's tomb. A shorter theatrical version was released in Germany, Spain, UK and US which begins with Sand reading from "Lélia" and ends with Sand and Musset's final meeting. It runs at 105 mins. This version contains two new scenes: Sand and Musset being introduced to each other and a dance sequence. However the opening sequences featuring Sands arrival in Paris during an uprising and her relationship with Marie Dorval are lost, as are the closing scenes as she attempts to see Musset a final time. Most DVD releases have favored the Original 135 min version which was more critically popular. See more »
If you have any interest in French Romanticism, or romanticism in general, see this film. The story is taken from both Musset's & Sand's accounts of the affair that took place. If a film is to be made about a poet, use the poets feelings and even words at the most opportune times, this film does that, and then some. This film is well crafted, from every aspect of its making. The performances by Binoche & Magimel are both riveting and heart wrenching.
If this love were a battle, the filmmaker would most definitely taken the side of Sand. As the truth of this affair left Musset's heart dispirited until his death. Even his friends, like Eugene Delacroix, have said that his pen was a poison that infected his reader like a virus. But all histoire aside, as a film, this is an exquisite piece of work, that is both heart-breaking and entertaining. In the words of the central characters, "Shame on you, who are the first to show me treason. The horror and anger, which made me lose my reason."-Alfred de Musset "The angels are no more pure than the heart of a young man who loves truthfully."-George Sand
Above all watch this film and judge for yourself.
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