Yet another of those stupid double releases on the same story. The productions of 'Dangerous Liaisons' and 'Valmont' were so close that several of the actors were offered parts in both movies. The biggest problem with this one was Keanu Reeves. When I saw it in the theater people laughed when he made his entrance and talked like a surfer dude.
"It's Beyond My Control!". What a great film. Starting with the beautiful costumes, the impeccable set decoration, the hauntingly disturbing music, the magnificent dialogs, the sharp direction and the great acting (Mr. Reeves excluded, of course!). Glenn Close and John Malkovich especially are deliciously evil (and entertaining) in their respective roles and Michelle Pfeiffer is simply stunning as Madame de Tourvel.
Another personal favorite and a masterclass in adaptation. It's timeless themes talk to me in numerous ways and its production is exquisitely flawless. In a parallel world, Glenn Close would have an Oscar for this role. That last shot is anthological in every sense.
I loved the ambiguity of Malkovich who easily pulled off both - his charm and maliciousness - in simple mimics. Still, Frears hasn't satisfied me completely. It lacked honesty. The movie, unlike the novel, hasn't really made an effort to make me believe in Vicomte's love towards Madame de Tourvel. The same thing happened with Marquise de Merteuil's love towards him. Looking forward to see Forman's Valmont.
Call me crazy but I prefer Valmont over Dangerous Liaisons. There are parts I prefer in D.L,, like the ending, over Valmont, but I enjoyed the Valmont cast more. Especially Fairuza Balk and Henry Thomas. That relationship was largely ignored in D.L. which is a major fault with it.
It wasn't so easy to give life to characters who were described by Choderlos de Laclos only in letters. Hence, the importance of the casting which, with the exception perhaps of Keanu Reeves, is gorgeous. A film I watch and re-watch every five years or so. Masterpiece.