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1,072 Ratings


La fidélité

Directed by Andrzej Żuławski
France, Portugal, 2000
Drama, Cult


This adaptation of La princesse de Clèves follows Clelia (Sophie Marceau), a distinguished Canadian photographer, who moves to Paris with her ailing mother after accepting work with a French tabloid. There she meets two men who she will be torn between, an older publisher and a younger paparazzo.

Our take

If the story sounds tame, rest assured under Polish auteur Andrzej Zulawski’s direction the film is anything but. A classic novel is turned into a flamboyant, sexy, madcap contemporary vision from the man who brought us such enraptured cult favorites as Possession and On the Silver Globe.

Fidelity Directed by Andrzej Żuławski

Critics reviews

Whatever Marceau may be like in real life, she can be a tremendously sympathetic and intelligent and compelling presence onscreen, as LA FIDELITE shows — she humanizes the extremes of Zulawski’s cinema in a way no other actor I’ve seen can do. In fact it’s the husband character in the film (Pascale Greggory) who goes in for more of the director’s favoured mannerisms, flailing, spasming and twitching, though he does this less often and less frenetically than, say, the stars of POSSESSION.
September 07, 2016
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Taking a sharp turn from She-Shaman’s unbridled aggression, La fidélité (2000) seemed a perfect goodbye—to filmmaking and to Marceau. A majestic and mature contemporary version of La Princesse de Clèves, just as distinctive as Oliveira’s The Letter (1999), it peppered a deeply developed meditation on duty and honour versus passion and happiness with ludicrous sub-plots featuring unscrupulous paparazzi and stylized violence—a reminder that Zulawski is a really impressive action director.
February 17, 2016
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Forever fascinated by the contrast between the high and the low, the director meshes together disparate elements: The life of the super-rich is boldly juxtaposed with the shady demimonde of sleazy dogfights, ritualistic motorbike racing, and illicit organ trafficking (signature Żuławski image: a pair of freshly scooped-out human eyes resting in a frozen aluminum box). Compared to the secretion-oozing nuttiness of Possession, Fidelity is a work of almost touching delicacy and quiet desperation.
March 05, 2012
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