Last Tango in Paris (Uncut Version) [Blu-ray]
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Paul, (Brando), an aging American expatriate in Paris, comes home to discover that his marriage has ended. His French wife, Rosa, had slit her veins, leaving bloody bath water and spattered walls behind. She didn't leave much else - no good-bye note or explanation for her husband, parents or lover, a guest in the fleabag hotel she owned and managed. She did bequeath the hotel, and it's seedy occupants, to Paul. Overwhelmed with grief, Paul walks the streets and finds himself looking at an apartment for rent. He finds Jeanne, (Maria Schneider), a girl-woman, barely out of her teens, looking at the same apartment. She is to be married in a few weeks to her bourgeois, filmmaker fiancee. Paul and Jeanne circle each other warily in the empty flat, each contemplating the rental, (and each other), and wondering who will take it. Suddenly, they grab each other and have hard, fast sex against the apartment wall. Thus begins a most bizarre relationship.
Paul makes the rules. Jeanne must follow them or she will not see him again. Their purely carnal relationship must remain anonymous, emotionless, and exist only within the walls of the apartment, which Paul rents for this purpose. There are to be no sexual taboos between them. He does not want to know her name or anything about her and refuses to give her any information about himself. They are not to see each other outside the apartment confines, nor even leave together.Read more ›
been called the greatest film actor of all time, one need only to
see this film to get their answer. Although it is somewhat dated and certainly not for everyone, Last Tango in Paris is a true
masterpiece of filmmaking.
Tame by today's standards, it is easy to see why 1972 audiences were shocked by its brutal frankness and full frontal nudity. It is a film about isolation, betrayal and confronting
one's own insecurities.
I found the beginning most difficult to believe- middle aged man begins an affair with a beautiful young woman after having met
her only moments before in an empty apartment. And then they
continue to meet for sex even though he insists that they reveal
nothing about themselves beyond the physical act of sex!
Once past this impossible beginning, we begin to learn more about
the characters- he is a lonely widower, she is engaged to a young
film student. She eventually accepts the fact that their relationship is nothing more than sexual.
Maria Schneider is very good in her role as the French girl and she seems completely comfortable with the graphic nude scenes she is in. But it is Brando who commands our complete attention. He dominates every scene and while Schneider spends a great deal of time being naked, he does not yet it is still his character that facinates us.
The film gets bogged down in some areas and many viewers may become bored with the scenes that involve some of the supporting characters. But, and trust me on this, DO NOT miss the scene in
which Brando visits the body of his dead wife. It is not a long scene but it alone is worth the price one will pay for seeing this film- be it in cash and/or time. It is a scene that all students of film and acting should be required to see. Once you have seen it I am sure you will agree- acting does not get any better than this.
What's really stuck with me is Marlon Brando's performance. I thought to myself back then, "That didn't look like acting." I read his bio and found out that he WASN'T acting. What you're seeing is an emotional breakdown on film: his weeping is just too raw and severe; he broke his hand when he punched a door during the mother-in-law scene (an action not in the script); the farm tales he tells were from his own childhood; and, perhaps most devastating of all, he rages at his dead wife's body in the film--but he's really dredging up his real-life anger for his alcoholic mother.
Afterward, he was quoted as saying, "I'll never act like that again." And then went on to do THE GODFATHER.
(Another weird detail: Maria Schneider, the young French girl in the film, is the daughter of a former roommate of Brando's.)
It may feel "foreign" in places to an American audience, but this film's scenes of desire, desperation and despair are universal.
When others complain that outside of the scenes circling Brando the story gets thin, I think they miss the intention of the film. It is this stark naked reality of Brando which drives Jeanne into Paul's arms again and again.
And which culminates in the climax when Paul falls back from essential cruelty, domination and _life_ into superficiality like everything else.
I can't fathom why you'd be wanting to watch this with a romantic interest over a bottle of champagne as somebody else suggested.
The film is deeply unsettling unless you are bereft of any sensibility, and then you probably would not want to let your romantic interest to know.
I don't think that there is any film into which Brando invested more personal energy and life force than this one.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Slow to start. Too much like a porno movie. I expected more artistic work.Published 14 days ago by Jennifer Roddick
Brando gives a strong performance, but the movie not for everyone. Men will enjoy much more than women. Read morePublished 24 days ago by john niech
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