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Swann in Love

3.9 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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(Jun 08, 2004)
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Editorial Reviews

From internationally acclaimed director Volker Schlöndorff (The Tin Drum) and starring Academy Award® winner Jeremy Irons(Reversal of Fortune, Dead Ringers) comes Swann In Love, a tale of obsessive love set against the colorful backdrop of Paris in the 1890s. Swann (Irons) falls in love with a young courtesan, and soon finds himself tormented by his unrelenting sexual desire. Based on the novel by Marcel
Proust, Swann in Love is a visually stunning film, bursting with life, love, and passion.

Special Features

  • Alternate English dubbed soundtrack

Product Details

  • Actors: Jeremy Irons, Ornella Muti, Alain Delon, Fanny Ardant, Marie-Christine Barrault
  • Directors: Volker Schlöndorff
  • Writers: Volker Schlöndorff, Jean-Claude Carrière, Marcel Proust, Marie-Hélène Estienne, Peter Brook
  • Producers: Eberhard Junkersdorf, Margaret Ménégoz
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    R
    Restricted
  • Studio: Homevision
  • DVD Release Date: June 8, 2004
  • Run Time: 110 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00020VZUW
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #70,289 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Swann in Love" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Lancelot R. Fletcher on June 21, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
See update below:

I rented this video because I had discovered Ornella Muti in the small role of Mercedes in the recent French miniseries of The Count of Monte Cristo and wanted to see more of her. The movie is well-worth seeing for her alone. She is amazingly beautiful, although in playing Odette de Crecy she combines powerful sensuality with a slight vulgarity that seems appropriate to the character she is playing, even though it detracts a little from her beauty.

One of the reviews jokingly suggested that seeing this movie would allow you to pretend that you had read the novel. I strongly disagree. I suspect that anybody who has not read the novel would find this movie pretty hard to follow and even harder to like. It's probably true that Proust is an essentially unfilmable writer. But, having conceded that, it is surprising how much subtlety and insightful reading is displayed in this movie. I am generally a pretty careful reader, but in watching this movie I had the experience several times of seeing things that I thought were changes from the novel and then, when I went back to the text I found that they were there all along and I had simply missed them.

This is mostly true in Muti's portrayal of Odette, which is not only much more sympathetic, but also much more complex than the view of her I remembered from reading the book. In fact, for me, the subtlety of Muti's performance has opened up a whole new possibility of interpretation of the role in the Proust novel of a character who is normally treated by readers with the same kind of contempt with which she is regarded by many of the novel's characters, including (most of the time) Swann himself.
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3 Comments 35 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
Let's get what's bad out of the way.

There's no point in whining about what Schloendorff got wrong in his adaptation, or what he left out. For instance I didn't much like how the famous last line of "Swann in Love" was rendered ("To think I've wasted the best years of my life..." etc.). But let's face it: you can't take a two-million-plus word novel and turn it into a movie without losing _something_. Just accept it.

My other gripe is that neither of the two lead characters say their own lines. Jeremy Irons (English) and Ornella Muti (Italian) are dubbed by French actors. Most Europeans would have seen a dubbed version anyway given how unpopular subtitles are in Europe. To a non-European, it's silly to have a movie dubbed even in the original language, but I suppose it's part and parcel with the European Union's subsidized financing of culture.

That aside, the adaptation is far from being all bad.

Alain Delon as Charlus is especially good. Despite being dubbed, Jeremy Irons looks spot on as Charles Swann. He's got the right balance of haughty manliness and effeminate aristocratic French charm. Ornella Muti is lovely as the cocotte Odette, except that I was disappointed for personal reasons. I saw Muti in a later film, where she was breathtakingly stunning as housewife to a French lawyer ("Un Couple Epatant"). As beautiful as she was at 28, she was ten times more beautiful twenty years later at 48.

As a period piece, the film shines. Swann's tuxedos, the Guermante's Salon, the stone paved streets, the horse drawn carriages, the lady's dresses.

Much of the dialog is lifted straight out of Proust, almost word for word although the context is sometimes changed.
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3 Comments 11 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: VHS Tape
It seems Marcel spent a great deal of time writing "Remembrance..." and I spent almost as much time reading it-but it was worth it. As difficult as the novel is to read, one doesn't have to get too far into it to realize that the author was a genius with words. I think to have any appreciation for the movie and for Jeremy Irons performance, it's best to have read the book. Otherwise you might find Charles Swann completely insufferable and the movie boring. But for those who have read it, I think you will find Irons performance maddeningly perfect. Ornella was beautiful,and I agree with the reviewer that the movie, at the very least, gives one an idea of the fashion and style that made up the early years in young Marcel's social life.
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By A Customer on May 30, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
A reasonable effort by Volker Schlondorff to film the unfilmable. It's valuable mainly for giving a reader of Proust some idea of the costumes, houses, and mannerisms of late 19th-century Paris. Ornella Muti fits Odette's character perfectly, and the dapper Alain Delon gives a face and figure to Baron Charlus. Helpful extended criticism of the film can be found in Roger Shattuck's "Proust's Way: A Field Guide to 'In Search of Lost Time'". He provides some insights into Jeremy Iron's performance that those who don't speak French will find illuminating. I enjoyed the movie before I read the novel although it was a bit confusing, but the confusion impelled me to attempt Proust if only to find out what was going on. I hope it's reissued on DVD soon.
1 Comment 14 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: DVD
I am not sure how much the film's value would be. Slightly sure, this is not the best of Schlondorff's ever.

However sometimes a film could value more than itself. I think this is one of them.

The story is about a noble man who has suffered in mad love with a beautiful, attractive and provocative prostitute. The man, Swann, was acted by Jeremy Irons who often takes this kind role.

Schlondorff chose Hans Werner Henze to express this mad love atomosphere, it is so amazing.

I knew Henze by this movie, feel like I met him there. Although I was so impressed the music in the movie I missed to check the composer's name. It passed almost 10 years when finally I found out that Henze. His music is so variety but this sound for the film is, I think, the Henze world. It is like, hardly to say, like sweat, better, and strange sound. Not just beautiful but in a way beautiful.

The film itself is not bad;all star casting, beautiful costumes, and some erotic scenes. I love Fanny Ardant acted a countess in it.
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