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The Beautiful Person (2008)

La Belle Personne (original title)
Unrated | | Comedy , Drama | 6 March 2009 (USA)
Trailer
2:17 | Trailer
Sixteen-year old Junie changes high school mid-year, following the death of her mother. She finds herself in the same class as her cousin Mathias, who introduces her to his friends. All the... See full summary »

Director:

Christophe Honoré

Writers:

Christophe Honoré (scenario), Gilles Taurand (scenario) | 1 more credit »
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2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Louis Garrel ... Nemours
Léa Seydoux ... Junie
Grégoire Leprince-Ringuet ... Otto
Esteban Carvajal-Alegria Esteban Carvajal-Alegria ... Matthias
Simon Truxillo Simon Truxillo ... Henri
Agathe Bonitzer Agathe Bonitzer ... Marie
Anaïs Demoustier ... Catherine
Valérie Lang Valérie Lang ... Florence Perrin
Jacob Lyon Jacob Lyon ... Jacob
Jean-Michel Portal Jean-Michel Portal ... Estouteville
Martin Siméon Martin Siméon ... Martin
Chantal Neuwirth Chantal Neuwirth ... Nicole - la patronne du café Sully
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Louka Anargyros Louka Anargyros
Thomas Anargyros Thomas Anargyros
Gabriel Attal Gabriel Attal
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Storyline

Sixteen-year old Junie changes high school mid-year, following the death of her mother. She finds herself in the same class as her cousin Mathias, who introduces her to his friends. All the boys want to date Junie, and she chooses the quietest among them, Otto Cleves. But soon after, she encounters the great love of her life, Nemours, her Italian teacher. The passion that burns between them is, however, doomed. Junie refuses to give in to her feelings and persists in denying herself happiness, which in her eyes is merely illusory. Written by American Film Market

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Le Pacte [France]

Country:

France

Language:

French | Italian | English | Russian

Release Date:

6 March 2009 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Beautiful Person See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When writing the script Christophe Honoré consulted 'Louis Garrel' as to what subject his character should teach. Garrel suggested he be a teacher of Italian and Honoré wrote it into the script assuming that Garrel knew Italian because his fiancé at the time, actress Valeria Bruni Tedeschi, was Italian. During shooting he discovered that Garrel actually spoke very little of the language. See more »

Quotes

Otto: I love you Junie, from when I saw you.
Junie: Then don't let me down and look after me, always.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Clash: Olivia: Hymen (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Northern Sky
Written and Performed by Nick Drake
Copyright Warlock Music Ltd administered by Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.
See more »

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User Reviews

The look of a 60s French film
11 November 2014 | by rooprectSee all my reviews

I honestly thought I was watching a film from the 60s until I looked it up on IMDb. Everything rung of the 60s from the washed-out color palette (lots of white, grey and cold bluish tints) to the inexplicably brooding, emotionally muted female protagonist who falls into a love tangle (as in Buñuel's "Belle du Jour" (1967) or Vadim's "Le repos du guerrier" (1962)) to the very 60s French soundtrack (Nick Drake, Alain Barrière, Callas) to the big hairstyles on men. And of course there are heavy themes of love & sexuality, common to those classic French films that defined the genre "60s French film". Imagine my surprise when I learned that this film was made in 2008 from a novel (La Princesse de Clèves) set in 1558 in the court of King Henry II of France.

I have to admit, I didn't like this film at first. Coming from a relatively puritanical culture, it didn't sit well with me that the film was about a 30-something high school teacher trying to seduce a 16-year old student. But if you can get past that, and if you can get past the premise that each character has 2 to 3 paramours in a tangled web that would make Shakespeare resort to his slide rule, then you'll be OK. This is very much a tale of loose sexual morals, but that is precisely the intent. The question posed is: can 1 true love exist, free of all the scandalous infidelities & betrayals, or is human nature such that impetuous desires and unchecked emotions always cause sexual & emotional chaos?

You may find yourself needing to watch this film a 2nd time or, as I had to do, rewinding certain scenes to figure out exactly who is who, especially if you're watching the English subtitles. That is because the love triangles (and love rectangles and love pentagons) come at you pretty fast with no big explanations for the slow folks in the audience. But even if it doesn't sink in at first, you'll probably have a decent grasp by the end of the film if you pay close attention. While I found this to be frustrating at first, I felt ultimately satisfied that the director took this approach, not holding our hand to lead us through every plot point. Instead, like the web of love & deceit itself, the plot is intended to be challenging if not confusing.

In the 2nd half, the story distills down to the main 3 characters, and the final 30 mins pack a whollop. My only real criticism is that it seemed to drag on 10 minutes beyond the dramatic climax & revelation, thereby watering down the effect of that powerful scene. Other than that, I found this to be a masterful telling of a tale that begins slowly, convoluted & seemingly uneventful, but then it snowballs to a rich and satisfying closure.


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