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Chéri (2009)

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The son of a courtesan retreats into a fantasy world after being forced to end his relationship with the older woman who educated him in the ways of love.


Stephen Frears


Christopher Hampton, Colette (novels)
3 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Michelle Pfeiffer ... Lea
Frances Tomelty ... Rose
Tom Burke ... Vicomte Desmond
Rupert Friend ... Chéri
Hubert Tellegen Hubert Tellegen ... Ernest
Joe Sheridan ... Marcel
Kathy Bates ... Madame Peloux
Toby Kebbell ... Patron
Felicity Jones ... Edmée
Iben Hjejle ... Marie Laure
Alain Churin Alain Churin ... Priest
Bette Bourne ... Baronne
Nichola McAuliffe Nichola McAuliffe ... Madame Aldonza
Andras Hamori Andras Hamori ... Silver Haired Industrialist
Gaye Brown Gaye Brown ... Lili


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 <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Indulge in a wicked game of seduction. See more »


Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some sexual content and brief drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »


Official Sites:

Official site | Official site [Japan] | See more »


UK | France | Germany


English | French | Latin | Italian

Release Date:

17 July 2009 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Cheri See more »


Box Office


$23,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£120,234 (United Kingdom), 10 May 2009, Limited Release

Opening Weekend USA:

$405,701, 28 June 2009, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$2,708,188, 21 August 2009
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The project reunited Michelle Pfeiffer, Director Stephen Frears and writer Christopher Hampton. All three had worked together on Dangerous Liasons 20 years earlier. See more »


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 »


[first lines]
Narrator: 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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Version of Chéri (1962) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Lost in Translation.
16 December 2011 | by davidtraversa-1See all my reviews

Aging, Michelle Pfeiffer has become what Oscar Wilde called "That abomination of nature: A Handsome Woman". Her very trimmed figure looks spectacular sheathed in very glamorous Belle Epoque dresses and looking at her with contemporary eyes, that's fine.

What the director forgot in recreating so beautifully, so painfully all the paraphernalia necessary to reproduce that magnificent time in history was... the ideal of feminine beauty at the time.

We glaringly see it in the same old pictures (authentic) shown at the start of the movie, pictures of the great beauties then, like Lillie Langtry, Lia de Putti, la Bella Otero, etc. and it's obvious that those beauties where more on the side of Marilyn Monroe than Michelle Pfeiffer, who looks like a window display mannequin with no curves in the right places and no minimal waistline (Hourglass figure painfully obtained thanks to an oppressing corset, but there it was).

To give us total recall of that time our protagonist should have been somebody a bit fatter than Ms. Pfeiffer, since we readily forget all the changes the feminine figure has suffered just in the last 100 years; what was considered fashionable or desirable then was quite different from now, and a thin woman was totally undesirable.

The film is nice, in a very superficial way, since its main flaw is irreparable, because speaking English in this superbly French story, we get a jarring note, and it's this: All the "decadent" morality, social behavior, points of view about richly kept elegant cocottes by the upper class French men is something totally unknown to puritan Victorian English society. This utterly French "Menage a Trois" is totally lost in this English version of Paris life at the turn of the century.

The house where she lives, the street, the interior locations, the dresses, all that is perfectly fine (more than fine, exquisite), but THE ESENCE of Colette masterpiece is not there. Due to the strong visual appeal in interiors, color schemes, Art Nuveau architecture and Belle Epoque fashions, this is mainly eye candy for dress designers and interior decorators.

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