Serge Novak is the pseudonym of a successful author whose novel 'The Winter Journey' is universally considered a masterpiece. But in private life it is Daniel Boltanski, rich and respectable, married to Nicoletta, an Italian lawyer with whom he lives in Switzerland. Nicoletta has a son, Fabrizio, born from a previous marriage, who is about to get married in Capri. During the trip by hydrofoil to go to the island, Daniel meets Mila, Fabrizio's future wife. Unaware of his true identity, he spends the night with her and later, despite the marriage, he begins a passionate relationship between the two. But the fame of 'Novak' is equal to his obsession with privacy, which someone tries to blow up with blackmail: the revelation of his faults, present and past, accompanied by lots of photographic documentation. With the help of his agent, the writer tries to figure out who is threatening him.Written by
"Le prix du désir" is a very interesting movie shot between France, Switzerland, Italy and Poland. It's not an action movie at all, and the story is strong and passionating.
A French-Polish writer goes to Italy for the wedding of his son. During the travel he meets a gorgeous girl, with whom he lives an adventure. The day after he discovers that she's the woman who is going to marry his son... But it's not all. Someone threatens him to reveal the truth about his writing career -actually he stole a manuscript of a dead friend writer and published it with his own name. That allowed him a brilliant career...
The story is interesting because it shows a series of situations where the change of name and lies are dominant. We see the destruction of a man and of his fame -with inexorability his own certainties fall down.
It's interesting to see that the titles of this Italian-French production don't mean the same thing. In French the film is called "Le prix du désir", in English we can translate it with "The price of desire". In Italian the title is instead "Sotto falso nome" (in English something like "With a false name"). I don't know why the titles are so different...
But each shows a theme of the film. Actually the man pays a price for the desire, because his misfortune begins with the love story with his son's wife. Furthermore, as I said, the fact of changing name of people and things is a way of hiding the truth -and it happens often in the movie, it's a recurrent theme in the story.
Italian movie-maker Roberto Andò directs the movie with smoothness and confidence. The cast is strong: French actor Daniel Auteuil is excellent in his portrait of the writer (the character has also something very treacherous); Greta Scacchi is his wife and Anna Mouglalis is the sexy girl who makes him fall into disgrace.
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