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Nathalie is the name a Parisian prostitute assumes for a special mission or "private investigation." She is engaged in this unusual and secretive task by a professional, upper-middle-class wife who fears that her husband is unfaithful to her. Nathalie has to seduce the clueless husband and regularly report all details of her relationship with him, including his most intimate sexual preferences in bed. Nathalie is stunning, charming, and cunning. Can Nathalie and her reports to the mistrustful wife be trusted? Is the middle aged husband indeed unfaithful?Written by
luiza do brasil
Despite a top-drawer cast and a top-flight writer-director this one flopped in France. Something is seriously weird over there; last year Depardieu, Adjani, Ledoyen, PLUS Jean-Paul Rappeneau (Cyrano de Bergerac) failed with 'Bon Voyage'; THIS year Depardieu, Fanny Ardant, Manu Beart PLUS Ann Fontaine (Comment j'ai tue mon pere, Nettoyage a sec)bombed with Nathalie. I've already covered Bon Voyage in these pages, having seen it three times and been blown away each time, but I just missed Nathalie when it was released in Paris in January of this year and I missed it again in April by which time it was reduced to one performance a week in a suburban art house, but now it's arrived in London and guess who was there with bells on at the very first screening. The English press seem disappointed rather than dismissive, on the grounds that the storyline - wife, worried about husband's fidelity, hires a hooker to seduce him and then supply a blow-by-blow, you should forgive the expression, to said wife - is meat and drink to the French so how could they produce a souffle that failed to rise to the occasion. They also claim you can see the twist coming a mile away and all I can say to THAT is that I was too busy basking in Fanny Ardant's eye-acting to spot the clues, such as they were. Put three heavy hitters like Depardieu, Ardant and Beart together in one movie and SOMEONE, SOMEWHERE is gonna think he's died and gone to heaven however less-than-perfect the script and this one is only a TAD less than perfect. Though hardly needed there is also first rate support from veterans Wladamir Yordanoff and Judith Magre, now, incredibly in her 78th year and looking no more than fifty. Of the three Depardieu has the least to do but as always he does it so well it feels like he is carrying the thing. Beart is the weakest link but she is always going to have problems with that incredibly unbelievable beauty that makes her look more like a genuine Stepford Wife than a REAL flesh-and-blood person. If ever a face needed not a whit or a jot of make up it is Beart's and it is sick-making to see it grotesqued up so ineptly with Hooker #7 lipstick and eye shadow. The movie belongs to Ardant and she takes it effortlessly giving what amounts to a Master-Class in eye-acting and if you haven't seen that gorgeous, Ava Gardner look-alike face in repose while the eyes reveal the pain behind them you haven't lived. Okay, the clues WERE there and I missed them but I sure don't feel either cheated or a klutz because for one hundred and seven minutes I was in the presence of greatness. 8/10
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