what do you think are Asia Argento's flaws as an actress?
The pacing can be awkward - it gets off to a slow start, and looses some steam in the last third. But at its best, a mesmerizing, dark tale of lust, passion, and deceit that knows when to be raw and when to be understated. Bolstered by strong performances, including a surprising turn from Asia Argento, this is easily one of Breillat's best films.
Asia Argento is perfectly cast in this. Breillat makes all of Argento's flaws as an actress work for the film, rather than against it.
Mesmerizing. Almost as mesmerizing as Asia Argento's plastered forehead curl.
But... I have to say Breillat impressed me sometimes. The scenes between Marigny and Vellini were just excellent, and what emanates from these moments were, I think, the perfect representation of far more stronger inner things : chaos, damnation, ecstasy, guilt and bittersweet irony, almost dreadful attachment. With the help of a perfect Asia Argento, Breillat seized there all the complexity of entangled feelings.
In my opinion, quoting Barbey d'Aurevilly - almost word for word - is just not enough to capture the essence of a novel as rich as Une vieille maitresse. Without even trying to compare the book to the novel in terms of adaptation, I thought the whole thing lacked of soul, and was a bit too uptight, dispensable, even irritating (just because it's a literary script doesn't mean you have to act in a theatricality way)