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The Lover (Not Rated) (1992)

Jane March , Tony Leung , Jean-Jacques Annaud  |  NR |  DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (181 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Jane March, Tony Leung
  • Directors: Jean-Jacques Annaud
  • Format: NTSC, Color, Closed-captioned, Widescreen, DVD
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Metro Goldwyn Mayer
  • Run Time: 115 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (181 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #89,405 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

From the novel of the same namewhich has sold over one million copies in 43 languagesthis "sophisticated adaptation of Marguerite Duras' best-selling memoirs" (Variety) smolders on the screen. "Masterfully acted and beautifully photographed" (Critics' Choice), The Lover brilliantly captures the essence of sexual awakening and forbidden desire like no other film has donebeforeor since. Jane March is mesmerizing in the role of a poor French teenager who engages in an illicit affair with a wealthy Chinese heir (Tony Leung) in 1920s Saigon. For the first time in her young life she has control, and she wields it deftly over her besotted lover throughout a series of clandestine meetings and torrid encounters. But though the lovers are able to transcend their differences in age, race and class'theirs is a future that French colonial Vietnamese society will never allow. 10 minutes of additional footage not included in the domestic in the theatrical release - Not Rated

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
435 of 450 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A sensuous, erotic and touching love story January 7, 2002
Format:VHS Tape
"The Lover" is a gorgeously sensuous and erotic film about a young girl's awakening to love and her own sexuality. Whover categorized this movie as soft porn needs to wash his or her mind out with Lysol. It is, quite simply, a love story.

Jane March plays "the young girl", a French adolescent in colonial Vietnam living with her widowed mother and two brothers. Her mother barely makes ends meet by teaching, her younger brother, with whom she has a relationship both protective and erotic, is weak and passive, and her older brother is brutally antisocial, stealing the family's few funds to support his opium habit and bullying his younger siblings through violence.

The girl attends a lycée in Saigon where she and her friend are the only Caucasian pupils. On a trip from her home back to school she meets "the Chinaman" played by Tony Leung, and their encounter sets off sparks. Leung is the son of a rich overseas Chinese, engaged to marry the Chinese girl picked out by his father, who spends his own days in an opium haze; his feelings for the young girl are at first purely sexual but ripen into a love so deep it confuses and frightens him.

It's a love that is doomed from the start. His father will not hear of him marrying a non-Chinese, and her family, although the equivalent of white trash, still considers themselves better than the Asians they live among. When the word of her affair with the Chinaman gets out, she becomes an outcast among her schoolmates.
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131 of 138 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Of boundaries and borders July 20, 2005
By Tintin
Before being a cinematographic success The Lover (fr. l'Amant) is a masterpiece of literature, an autobiographical novel written by Marguerite Duras in 1984, in which the author reveals her torrid adolescent relationship with an older and affluent Chinese man in the Saigon of the 1930s. Very few adaptations of novels to the screen have ever been rendered so faithfully. Annaud is known for the meticulousness with which he approaches the details of his films, including the historical ones, and The Lover is no exception

The story is an interior monologue so laconically written that the film's characters aren't even named. Jane Marsh, la jeune fille ("the girl"), acting is effortless and natural, portraying perfectly the ferocious individuality of the adolescent girl. Her resemblance to young Duras is uncanny. Tony Leung Ka Fai, the "Chinaman," is convincing in the role of the vulnerable aristocratic.

The soundtrack, by Gabriel Yared, follows the action well, complementing the scenes, without overwhelming them. The theme, "l'Amant," is equally poetic and lyrical as the text. The dialogue is the manifestation of Duras's writing, and the voice-over sequences are taken verbatim from the novel. The genius of Annaud is again apparent in his choice of Jeanne Moreau for the narrator's part. Moreau's world-weary, destroyed voice could not have been better for conveying the tone of Duras's lyrical writing.

I was rather disappointed while reading more than a dozen American reviews of this film penned by professional film critics. Only one reviewer seemed to be knowledgeable about the author and the position she occupies in world literature.
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79 of 82 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars L'Amant is breathtaking January 15, 2005
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This is a review of the unrated DVD version of this film. It is so unusual that a cinemagraphic expression lives up to a great work of literature, but Jean-Jacques Annaud gives us the visual rendition of Marguerite Duras' prize winning novel. Annaud captures the poetry and passion of Duras' 1930's Indochina. It is simply a captivating movie to watch. I've seen this movie three times before, but always the Blockbuster "R" version. The sex scenes in the unrated DVD version of the film are simply breathtaking. Contrary to another viewer, below, I find that art and expression of the film is accomplished through the love scenes. After all, the story examines mystery, desire, and forbidden love. The lovers are different, they are more, they are exuberantly liberated when they are together. The love scenes provide the necessary counterpoint to the banality of their lives apart. Their vigorous sexuality underscores the paradox of the rich, and worldly Chinese man who offers himself up to humiliation and abuse from French colonial white-trash, all for the sake of a young girl. Their relationship is viseral and mysterious. Their lovemaking and common language mask yet personify their embodiment of the mutual identities as part of the French and Chinese as colonizers of Vietnam. L'Amant breaks new boundaries as an exploration of forbidden love, anticolonialism, and the suffering people endure because they resign themselves to living their own lies. L'Amant is a beautiful film, brilliantly acted, that says so much by saying so little. The film score by Gabriel Yared is also breathtaking. Cinema doesn't get any better than this. Hollywood is simply incapable of making a movie like this.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Lusty
One of my favorite romances ever! It captures, very accurately, whats it like to have your heart broken for the first time. It's lush, lusty, romantic, and moody. Read more
Published 12 days ago by vicky
5.0 out of 5 stars with great difficulty, to cherish it over 4 weeks before ...
I had requested the DVD from a network Library system, and mistakenly received the hard-copy of the novel written by Marguerite Duras, which is stunning, actually, wrenching. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Quino
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
it was ok
Published 1 month ago by william
5.0 out of 5 stars Not worth $64, but very good.
I saw this on PBS in the abridged version. It's an excellent, but emotional movie. I would recommend, but not at this high price.
Published 2 months ago by None
5.0 out of 5 stars Art at it's finest!
I still perfer the book, but the director's cut is breath-taking in it's attention. The movie is tender and moving.
Published 2 months ago by Linda Rouns
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good film
My favorite period in modern history is between the two world wars. The cinematography and scenery is outstanding especially the scene on the ferry crossing the Mekong River. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Stan J. Dymek
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best movies ever!
This movie is exotic, romantic, and sexy! I adore it and have watched it several times. It takes you to another time and place with the feeling of "Red Shoe Diaries".
Published 4 months ago by Marvina
5.0 out of 5 stars An amazing cinematic achievement.
Jean-Jacques Annaud is one of the greatest directors around. Once you get past Jane March naked (and she is very naked in this film) and you look at her eyes and mouth you see... Read more
Published 5 months ago by erdprod
5.0 out of 5 stars I Thought It Was Beautiful
Not only because it was refreshing to see people making love the way I do, savoring every precious moment, but, also because Duras, as depicted, is the spitting image of my... Read more
Published 6 months ago by JOHN D MACLEOD
5.0 out of 5 stars One of great films of 20th Century
The acting of Jane March, Tony Leung Ka Fai, and the writing of Marguerite Duras' autobiographical "The Lover," and the the rewrite "The North China Lover," AND the... Read more
Published 6 months ago by folsombob
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