Even the blandness of lead actor Fu'ad Ait Aattou does nothing to take away the power of Breillat's adaptation of the D'Aurevilly novel. Her passion for the frank material shines through with clever supporting casting including the sublime Claude Sarraute and Roxane Mesquida. Interesting that a selection of her former leading ladies have small roles sprinkled throughout.
If many people associate Simone de Beavoir to Le Deuxième Sexe, one gets the feeling that Catherine Breillat's favourite text of hers is her analysis of the Marquis de Sade. The Last Mistress is a response to the resurgence of Jane Austen and the romanticism of 19th century relationships. It's a shame then that Argento is not the strong, hypnotic female presence that she needed.
Frankly, the only reason I didn't turn it off at first was that I've committed to watching a quota of films directed by women. After that, it was because of the grandmother, who was a delight. After that, it was resignation, time invested, comfort on couch, etc. Felt like a film going through the motions. Halfhearted. No surplus energy with which to compel. 2.5
I Adore the French in france and French Film. This was Excellent. It proposes a Question. Once one has a ten year mistress who chases him when he marries can he succumb? Sex is Stronger than Anything. Sometimes Even Love. Especially in situations Like this. I Love France. I wish I lived there and before the migrant crisis.
The story, characters and setting are presented well, but the basis of it all is an account of nothing more significant or beneficial than privileged people acting on impulse with little care for anything other than self-gratification. Their behaviour is less juvenile and more gentile, perhaps, than car wrecking derbies on TV, but not by much.
Ein neuer Weg,die stetig wiederkehrende Geschichte zu erzählen.Befremdlich wirkte die zu modern,hiermit unzeitgemäß wirkende Ausstattung,ebenso die Körpersprache.Dies erinnert an die neu verfilmten Märchen der Gebrüder Grimm. Die Wahl der jungen Hauptakteure empfinde ich als misslungen.
The opening credits state that the film is set "...in the century of Choderlos de Laclos," who lived in the eighteenth century while the source novel by Barbey d'Aurevilly is a product of the nineteenth century. I think this speaks to what these literary sources are all about and to the 'kind' of film Breillat wanted to make. Imagine if she had directed a film version of 'Dangerous Liaisons,' wow...
Breillat delivers a fairly direct adaptation (tho I can't compare overlap), but given the madonna/whore subject it doesn't feel impersonal. Instead it plays as an especially fiery romance, sympathy bestowed on upon the latter of course. The structure creates a certain distance as we discover the implications of the early scenes, and it doesn't lean heavily on the repression of the period as we might expect.
Tiré de Barbey d’Aurevilly. 1835, la marquise de Flers marie sa petite fille à 1 jeune noble dont la réputation de libertin l’inquiète. Toute 1 nuit, Ryno de Marigny va tenter de la rassurer en lui racontant comment il a mis fin à 10 ans de passion avec 1 sulfureuse maîtresse: La Vellini. Asia Argento, Fu’ad Ait Aattou, Claude Sarraute, Michel Lonsdale, Yolande Moreau, Lio, Amira Casar, Anne Parillaud & Léa Seydoux.
The film begins w/ a 30 minute commencement establishing the simultaneity of Breillat's artistic interests: How--in what manner--should we depict this subject matter; how do we do justice to emotional intimacy, historical detail, AND political distance? C.B. chips away at these inquiries in each & every moment of the film, her greatest work. The classicism, the transgression, Asia Argento: the culmination ruins me.
Les lèvres pulpeuses et la voix grave, un adolescent récite d'un ton monocorde des phrases qu'il ne comprend pas à une beauté brune dont on ne comprend pas les phrases. Des plans fixes, presque pas de musique, le parti pris pourrait avoir de l'intérêt si le jeu des acteurs nous enflammait, si la réalisation nous rendait quelque chose de l'incandescence du roman. Mais non, tout est plat, morne, sous-joué, mal joué.
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.
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)