(out of 5)
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.
Directed by Patrice Leconte
Cinematography by Thierry Arbogast
Music by Antoine Duhamel
Production Design by Ivan Maussion
Costume Design by Christian Gasc
Film Editing by Joelle Hache