Secrets, rumors and betrayals surround the upcoming marriage between a young dissolute man and virtuous woman of the French aristocracy.


Catherine Breillat


Jules-Amédée Barbey d'Aurevilly (novel), Catherine Breillat (adaptation)
2 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Asia Argento ... Vellini
Fu'ad Aït Aattou ... Ryno de Marigny
Roxane Mesquida ... Hermangarde
Claude Sarraute Claude Sarraute ... La marquise de Flers
Yolande Moreau ... La comtesse d'Artelles
Michael Lonsdale ... Le vicomte de Prony
Anne Parillaud ... Mme de Solcy
Jean-Philippe Tesse Jean-Philippe Tesse ... Le vicomte de Mareuil
Sarah Pratt Sarah Pratt ... La comtesse de Mendoze
Amira Casar ... Mademoiselle Divine des Airelles
Caroline Ducey ... La dame de Pique
Lio ... La chanteuse
Isabelle Renauld ... L'arrogante
Nicholas Hawtrey Nicholas Hawtrey ... Sir Reginald
Léa Seydoux ... Oliva


At 30, boyish penniless aristocrat Ryno de Marigny has separated from Villini, a passionate Spaniard and his mistress of 10 years. He's now in love with Hermangarde, a young, wealthy, and titled virgin. Days before the wedding, the bride's grandmother sits Ryno down and insists on knowing if his affair is over. He relates a story of passion, which we see in flashbacks, swearing he loves only Hermangarde. After the wedding, the couple moves to a castle by the sea. And Villini? Can passion survive disgust and self-loathing? Written by <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Romance


Unrated | See all certifications »

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Did You Know?


Catherine Breillat thought that Roxane Mesquida, who was in her twenties, was too old to be cast as a teenager. However, after viewing a retrospective of her own work, Breillat realized that Mesquida looked the same as she had as a teenager and gave her the role of Hermangarde. See more »


While Ryno is descending the stairs at the opera, an Edgar Degas mural can be seen. Degas would have only just been born in this era. See more »


Featured in Metropolis: Cannes 2007 - Special (2007) See more »


Faronell's Division
By John Playford
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User Reviews

I would really like to read the novel from which this derives?
4 July 2008 | by madupontSee all my reviews

If anyone knows where it is to be found, please post information.

I have an even worse question. I carefully went back for an encore after having a very good impression of this film, that lessens but, Argento is a strong performer; I never found Anne Parillaud. I looked carefully, and I still do not see her! Someone give me a hint?

I did recognize the name Sarraute, immediately, but then put it out of my mind. It is amazing however, if it is true that she is not a professional actor because she was the most fully developed character and does as well as Catharine DeNeuve in,Time Regained(different era;same concerns). I caught that remark about the Laclos and the differentiation of time; and yet, when I described a hair-style to someone, it hit me that for all their concern to be fashionable, the French retained a hairstyle for some 54 years(as seen at the banquet table that evening of the "costume-disguise" party).

Also, at another venue, a remark was made that Sarraute's line,as La Marquise de Flers, was "I am absolutely true to the 18th.century values" --which led me to consider by this morning, after finding it other described as "I am marvelously true to the 18th.century values", how in the world did she survive what was a class and political Revolution? She was at her prime, thus it is ironic but it explains in one line from whence the values she mentions casually in response to Marigny's story. Or, as my mother said (whose grandparents were of this return to the Bourbon Rule), "Women have the power. It is women who run things."

I have yet to find a "professional reviewer" who adequately explores the ramifications of this film accurately. I have to hand it to Breillat,for her attention to "detail, detail, detail".

In no way do I find fault with her Algerian segment; it's a well known psychology, to mask grief and depression with "flamboyant" sexuality.

I loved the particulars of Hermangarde's wedding as choreographed by her grandmother, which reveals better than anything that remark of my mother who had an uncle who was a Roman Catholic priest. (although in some ways it is nearly as good as another film-maker's,Dutch, "deathbed symbolics"in, Antonia's Line,by Marleen Gorris). Did anyone else notice that Roxane Mesquida resembles a very young Sharon Stone? Her glare is phenomenal.

Fu'ad Ait Aattou has a future revealed in the close-up delivery of his lines, and he carries himself well, he is not discomforted by the clothing of that period which he wears to advantage; but, he needs some work on those biceps. He apparently has a very deep rib-cage at the sacrifice of any shoulder or bicep development.

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France | Italy



Release Date:

18 July 2008 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Last Mistress See more »


Box Office


$6,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$33,554, 29 June 2008

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs



Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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