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A period-piece? Yes, but one honed with a distinctly contemporary menace. It's rare, for example, to find a period-piece with such delicious, razor-sharp dialogue (which garnered the film an Academy Award for Best Screenplay Adaptation). It's also rare to find a period-piece that focuses primarily on sex, but treats its subject matter with so little eroticism. DANGEROUS LIAISONS is more about power and one-upmanship; sex merely serves as the weapon of choice. It's a diabolically entertaining film, a decadent one even; there's something both disturbing and enjoyable about watching the two central characters indulging in their elaborate power plays.
The performances are strong for the most part (Close, Malkovich, and Pfeiffer all received Oscar nominations), although the women fare much better than the men.Read more ›
At the center of the story are two people who feed on the misery they cause others as a way to keep their urges for one another suppressed. Glenn Close is the seductively evil Marquise de Merteuil, a self-proclaimed "virtuoso of deceit" who believes it her duty to dominate the opposite sex, and avenge her own. Her latest undertaking involves the daughter of her naive friend Madame de Volanges (Swoozie Kurtz), for whom her former lover left her. In hopes of ruining daughter Cecile's (Uma Thurman) reputation, she calls upon beloved friend and partner in evil, Vicomte de Valmont, played by John Malkovich. Valmont, like Merteuil, prides himself on his accomplishments, and prizes the feeling of success that comes with the devastation he causes to women.
But he has different plans in mind, involving the seduction and ruin of one Madame de Tourvel (Michelle Pfeiffer), whose ideals and virtues are the exact opposite of these two wicked souls. His plan is concocted from the most cruel of intentions: to make her want him so badly that she does not relinquish her beliefs, but instead is crushed by them once she gives in to his advances.
Imagine his surprise when he finds that his task will not be as easy as he had at first hoped.Read more ›
The only bright side of this situation is that the `Dangerous Liaisons' implementation of this story is much better. It is a sign of the value of `...Liaisons' that it is much better than a really worthy movie.
I believe the difference in the quality of the two movies lies directly on the aptness of the casting and the quality of the acting. On all the lesser qualities which go into making a movie such as set decoration, cinematography, editing, music and the like, the two films are easily on equal terms.
The heart of the matter is in the comparison of `...Liaisons' casting of Glenn Close and John Malkovich in the principle roles versus `Valmont's casting Colin Firth and Annette Bening. While Firth is physically much more believable as a Casanova type, Close and Malkovich are far superior than Bening and Firth at playing world class scoundrels. At the secondary level, `...Liaisons' casting of Uma Thurmen and Keanu Reeves as the two young innocent lovers is immensely more satisfying than the `Valmont casting of unknowns Fairuza Balk and Henry Jones.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Glenn Close and John Malkovich are masterful in this tale of sexual cruelty among the French upper classes, but I must admit I ran to the theaters in 1988 for the sake of a... Read morePublished 1 day ago by Estherfan
I put off watching this film for many years and now that i have seen it I am sorry I did not see it sooner! Read morePublished 11 days ago by George H.
An old favorite of mine-- love the performances. The digital download price was totally worth the splurge. Very happy to have this one around.Published 13 days ago by msb
One of my favorite movies! Malkovich and Close are so good at being bad!Published 29 days ago by Joye Lee
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