Now Playing Synopsis: Like Nagisa Oshima's erotic masterpiece In the Realm of the Senses (1976), this film's shockingly graphic depiction of sex blurs the line between art and pornography. Marie (Caroline Ducey) is unfulfilled by her relationship with Paul (Sagamore Stévenin), her narcissistic male model boyfriend, who refuses to show her any kind of physical affection, much less make love to her. Frustrated, she decides to take matters into her own hands, and she finds one night of tenderness and passion in the arms of Paolo, a man she met in a bar, played by Italian porn star Rocco Siffredi. Later, she is seduced by an older man, Robert (François Berléand), who introduces her to bondage and sadomasochism. As she allows herself to be bound, gagged, and forced into bizarre contortions, her flirtation with the wild side pushes her into increasingly frightening and degrading situations. Yet, like Catherine Deneuve's Sévérine in Belle de jour (1967), after each tryst she returns to her emotionally remote boyfriend as if nothing happened. One night, taken by Marie's renewed vitality, Paul holds her and begins to make love to her. Although he selfishly withdraws halfway through and casts her aside, he manages to impregnate her; after he proposes, Marie begins to feel society's constraints on her newly liberated sexuality, and she eventually decides to take violent action to salvage it. Unlike most sexually explicit works, the film is expressed from the female perspective. Director Catherine Breillat places the viewer inside Marie's mind through the camera's point-of-view, which in one scene lingers lovingly on Siffredi's camera-friendly anatomy, and through Marie's voice-overs, which provide access to her private thoughts. Brought to life by Ducey's tour-de-force performance, Romance is a confrontational yet emotional work that is not easy to forget. The film premiered at the 1999 Rotterdam Film Festival and was screened at the 1999 Toronto Film Festival. ~ Jonathan Crow, Rovi Cast: Caroline Ducey, Sagamore Stévenin, François Berléand, Rocco Siffredi Movie Details Movie Review
Opens Friday, Jan 4, 2013 Synopsis: The first English-language film of director Roman Polanski is a psychological thriller in the vein of Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho (1960) and his own later film Rosemary's Baby (1968). Catherine Deneuve stars as Carol Ledoux, a Belgian manicurist living with her sister, Helen (Yvonne Furneaux), in a London flat. Simultaneously attracted and repulsed by sex, Carol is a virgin who finds her sister's relationship with a married man, Michael (Ian Hendry), extremely disturbing. When her sister and Michael go on holiday, Carol begins to disintegrate mentally, hallucinating bizarre encounters, being forced into taking a sabbatical from her job and ultimately committing a pair of murders in her deranged state. ~ Karl Williams, Rovi Cast: Catherine Deneuve, Ian Hendry, John Fraser, Patrick Wymark, Yvonne Furneaux Movie Details Movie Review
Now Playing Synopsis: A mother and daughter follow similar paths with different results in this drama from writer and director Christophe Honoré. In 1964, Madeleine (Ludivine Sagnier) is a restless young woman working at a shoe store who, after helping herself to a new pair of high heels, is mistaken for a streetwalker by a man passing by. Madeleine impulsively decides to go along with the stranger's assumptions, and is soon making her living as a high-class prostitute. One of her regular customers is a handsome doctor named Jaromil (Rasha Bukvic), and when he asks for her hand in marriage, she accepts. They settle in his native Czechoslovakia and have a daughter, Vera. Years later, Vera (Chiara Mastroianni) looks back on the story of her mother and father (played in their later years by Catherine Deneuve and Milos Forman) with a viewpoint colored by both romanticism and regret; while Madeleine's life as a streetwalker was full of adventure and brought her love, Vera has grown up in an era where AIDS has made prostitution a bit like Russian roulette, and she's unable to commit to a relationship, tossing aside her on-and-off boyfriend Clement (Louis Garrel) in favor of obsessing over Henderson (Paul Schneider), a musician who prefers the company of men. Les bien-aimés (aka Beloved) was an official selection at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi Cast: Chiara Mastroianni, Catherine Deneuve, Ludivine Sagnier, Louis Garrel, Milos Forman Movie Details Movie Review
Peninsula Clarion ©2013. All Rights Reserved.