Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.
France, 1996. Epithète Films, Cinéa, France 3 Cinéma, Canal+, Sofica Investimage 4, PolyGram Audiovisuel, Procirep, Gras Savoye, Centre National de la Cinématographie. Scenario and dialogue by Remi Waterhouse, Screenplay by Michel Fessler, collaboration with Eric Vicaut. Cinematography by Thierry Arbogast. Produced by Frederic Brillion, Philippe Carcassone, Gilles Legrand. Music by Antoine Duhamel. Production Design by Ivan Maussion. Costume Design by Christian Gasc. Film Editing by Joelle Hache. Academy Awards 1996. Cannes Film Festival 1996. Golden Globe Awards 1996. National Board of Review Awards 1996. Toronto International Film Festival 1996.
French take on Dangerous Liaisons that isn’t nearly as pointed or compelling. Charles Berling plays a newcomer to 18th-century France’s royal court who has no idea how much sharp wit is required to survive his peers. The members of this society value a quick tongue more than they do a quick sword or large fortune, and people’s lives and reputations can be torn down in the simple telling of a joke. Fascinating culture, and certainly a learning experience, but the various relationships and romances that go on in between the many scenes of fashionable cut-ups are never very interesting. On the other hand, it features a lead performance by Fanny Ardant, one of France’s most fascinating and beautiful actors, making the film a must-see. Just don’t expect too much.