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Early one morning Valerie has to tell her unemployed boyfriend Remi that she is pregnant. She has decided to keep the child, but they argue whether they should break up or not. That same ... See full summary »
Fashion executive Dominique's obsession for Quentin, a young bisexual hustler, fills her desire for physical love but leaves her taxed emotionally. Twists and turns in the relationship, ... See full summary »
Young Queen Margot finds herself trapped in an arranged marriage amidst a religious war between Catholics and Protestants. She hopes to escape with a new lover, but finds herself imprisoned by her powerful and ruthless family.
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Baptiste 'Bebel' Lavalle and his classmates in Versailles' private high-school Louis XIV enjoy their carefree life enough to deliberately fail the exams, a national record of zero ... See full summary »
Quatre amis, Etienne, Daniel, Simon et Bouly ont du mal à grandir et, la quarantaine révolue, continuent de se jouer des tours. Etienne, qui est toujours resté fidèle à sa femme, tombe ... See full summary »
Ruthless executive Christine brings on Isabelle as her assistant, and she takes delight in toying with the young woman's innocence. But when the protégé's ideas become tempting enough for ... See full summary »
Kristin Scott Thomas,
Based on the true story of the notorious Marquis de Sade. In eighteenth century Paris, an innocent beauty's search for her missing sister leads her into the deadly sensuous realm of the ... See full summary »
With 'little captain' Cambrai raising serious doubts about the reality of the so-called "super spy", Colonel Toulouse kidnaps Christine and forces Francois to play again the character of "... See full summary »
Many noble families are locked in a chateau due to the French Revolution. The infamous Marquis de Sade is there and is generally shunned by the others. A teen-aged girl befriends him behind her parents back and learns about him and life in general. He initiates her into sexual exploration and leads her to become an independent, sexually-liberated woman. Written by
A "cuddly and charming" version of the Marquis de Sade
This is an extremely competent movie technically. The camera work and direction are excellent and the acting is fine as well--especially the fine acting by Daniel Auteuil as the Marquis. I really thought there were no problems at all with these aspects of the film. Instead, I was a bit annoyed by the way the Marquis was portrayed, as it didn't seem all that honest and seems to be a very revisionistic view of history. In fact, in recent years, the Marquis has undergone a bit of a transformation to a defender of freedom with great insight, not the fat sado-masochist rapist he really was. In a way, this is highly reminiscent of the whitewash given in THE PEOPLE VERSUS LARRY FLINT--where these men are elevated to hero status. Even if you don't think that the Marquis' perversions weren't all that bad (they included rapes and extreme violence), his portrayal in this film as a "sexual social worker" in this prison seems pretty silly. Instead of the violent and selfish Sade, he spends a lot of time carefully grooming a young virgin and slowly helps her to explore her own sensuality. What a nice and kind man. In fact, now that I think about it, this performance reminds me of the man Maurice Chavalier played in GIGI (but without the singing)--a cute older man who loves the ladies. I strongly doubt the real-life Marquis de Sade would have recognized this character at all!
The film, surprisingly, doesn't have a lot of nudity, though what it does show is extremely explicit. Only a maniac would let their kids see this as this is a very adult drama. It's very well-made and pretty entertaining--just not all that truthful. The director admits that the film is largely fictional in the interview among the special features on the DVD I watched. So go ahead and see the film if you'd like--understanding it just isn't very good historically. During the 18th century, sexual libertines were quite accepted in France as they were pretty broad-minded, so despite what the movie implies it wasn't SEX that was the issue, it was the violence and rape that was (and still is) the problem.
14 of 26 people found this review helpful.
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