During France's belle époque before World War I, elegant cars, mansions, and servants defined the lives of les grandes horizontals, the courtesans of kings and millionaires. One of the most successful, Lea de Lonval, is approaching a certain age when an older associate, Charlotte Peloux, asks Lea to take on her 19 year old son, whom Lea has called Chéri since he was a child. They become lovers and, to their surprise, the relationship lasts six years. When it ends abruptly with a marriage his mother arranges to the daughter of another courtesan, Lea finds herself lonely. Has she fallen in love? If so, do she -- and Chéri - have any choices?Written by
In the closing credits, 'thanks' are given to France's national railway, the Societe National Chemin de Fer, known as the "SNCF". However the credits have the letters out of sequence, calling it the "SCNF". See more »
We may think ourselves familiar in this day and age with the notion that whores of every description can very easily achieve fame and fortune. But towards the end of the 19th century, there what came to be known in France as the "Belle Epoque", a select group of courtesans, who became for a short period, the most celebrated and powerful women in the long history of prostitution.
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Why is this movie rated as 6.2 out of 10? Are people blind? Crowds of movie goers flock to Avatar and Alice in Wonderland, and stuff like Cheri are completely overlooked. This is a delicious flick, with a great unusual and touching romantic story, gorgeous early 20th century atmosphere and brilliant interpretations from gorgeous Michele Pfeiffer and Kathy Bates. The story flows slow and stylishly like the surroundings of Belle Epoque and the final is so moving it makes a stone cry. Definitely the best movie I saw in 2009 together with Bright Star from Jane Campion. Please go see it and don't believe anyone who tells you otherwise.
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