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The Lady of the Camellias
on September 6, 2012
(Spoilers ahead) I have waited for many years to see this on DVD and was elated to see it released in 2011. I agree that the film did not fully exploit the talents of the superb cast, but the costumes and sets are well done, and--most of all--the story is true the fictionalized life of Marie Duplessis (by Alexandre Dumas the younger), the Parisian courtesan who died of tuberculosis in the early 1840s at the age of 23. (For opera lovers, this same story was turned into "La Traviata.")
The reviewers who were "shocked" by the "immorality" evidently needed a lesson in history. This film is a period piece. The protagonist Marguerite was a courtesan--essentially a high-class prostitute. What did they expect? She was a "companion" for men of the upper-crust whose time was paid for in money, jewelry and other expensive gifts.
As a made-for-TV film of the 1980s, the budget (as mentioned) is not as lavish as a film from the silver screen, but the film still conveys the life of the aristocracy (the young lover was a duke and the son of a duke) and the demimonde in Paris of the mid-19th century.
If you are a fan of literature of the Romantic period or enjoy costumed films, you will enjoy this.