The Last Mistress (2007)

CATHERINE BREILLAT

Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB

Original title:  Une Vielle Maitresse

France/Italy, 2007.  Flach Film, CB Films, France 3 Cinéma, StudioCanal, Buskin Film, Canal+, Centre National de la Cinématographie, TPS Star, Région Ile-de-France.  Screenplay by Catherine Breillat, based on the novel by .  Cinematography by .  Produced by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  Cannes Film Festival 2007.  Toronto International Film Festival 2007.  

Catherine Breillat lightens up on her hypersexual style and puts her force behind story and character in this sumptuous adaptation of the novel by Jules-Amedee Barbey d’Aurevilly. Announcing itself as set in the era of Choderlos de Laclos (author of Dangerous Liaisons), the film tells a similar tale of sexual manipulation and passion as a handsome, rakish man () prepares to marry a gorgeous young woman () after years of living with a fiery, complicated Spanish mistress (). The bride-to-be’s grandmother (a superb ) is not convinced that he is ready to commit, and one evening gets him to tell her the entire tale of his stormy, ill-fated love affair with Argento. Gorgeous costumes and beautifully lit drawing rooms pour off the screen as Breillat avoids the graphic sexuality of earlier films like Romance or Fat Girl and instead manages to capture some lovely intimacy and terrific erotic tension between the actors.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s