An Affair Of Love (1999)


Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB

Original title:  Un Liaison Pornographique

Alternate title:  A Pornographic Affair

France/Switzerland/Belgium/Luxembourg, 1999.  ARP Sélection, Artémis Productions, Canal+, Centre du Cinéma et de l’Audiovisuel de la Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles, Eurimages, Fama Film AG, Fonds National de Soutien à la Production Audiovisuelle du Luxembourg, Les Productions Lazennec, Radio Télévision Belge Francophone, Samsa Film, Schweizer Fernsehen, Wallons.  Screenplay by .  Cinematography by .  Produced by , , .  Music by , , .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  

A middle-aged woman () puts an ad in an adult magazine for someone who will indulge her in a fantasy that is never disclosed to the audience. The man who answers her ad () turns out to be worth even more than she’d asked for, and they start a relationship that goes from sexual to sensual. The film’s device of having the two characters narrate the tale of their relationship from a future standpoint is annoyingly contrived and slows the mood down, but the beautiful dialogue between what start out as nervous strangers and end up close friends is something well worth remembering. The film never shows the inside of their frequently used hotel room until the first time they actually make love (as opposed to whatever her secret fantasy was), examining the fascinating issue of sexuality and questioning whether it really is possible for human beings to have sexual experiences with absolute, complete detachment. Wonderful French cinema, with all the classy subtleties we love about that, plus magnificent performances from the gorgeous Baye and the very charismatic Lopez.

European Film Award Nomination:  Best European Actress (Nathalie Baye)

Toronto International Film Festival:  1999

Venice Film Festival Award:  Best Actress (Nathalie Baye)

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