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Venus Beauty Institute [VHS] (2000)

Nathalie Baye , Bulle Ogier , Tonie Marshall  |  R |  VHS Tape
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Nathalie Baye, Bulle Ogier, Samuel Le Bihan, Jacques Bonnaffé, Mathilde Seigner
  • Directors: Tonie Marshall
  • Writers: Tonie Marshall, Jacques Audiard, Marion Vernoux
  • Producers: Emmanuelle Pinet, Gilles Sandoz, Isabelle Pailley
  • Format: Color, Subtitled, NTSC
  • Language: French
  • Subtitles: English
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: Fox Lorber
  • VHS Release Date: June 12, 2001
  • Run Time: 105 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005B21B
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #648,564 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
A hit back in France, "Venus Beauty Institute" came here in Japan and USA. I am afraid that the film was seeking audience very hard in theater, though. It's a pity because "Venus Beauty" is a really good movie with superb performance. And it is the place where Audrey Tautou (aka Amelie) was working before she landed in a cafe in Paris. THAT makes the film is worth watching, don't you think?
DVD or VHS's cover will show you three workers (how do you say in English?) at a beauty salon, clad in vivid pink, but the film's main story follows Nathalie Baye's character, Angele, now forty-years-old, whose relationships with a man she loved in the past, it is implied, had not been an easy one. The moment she is ditched by a guy after a 3-days love affair, she encounters a new love without her knowing; in fact, you see behind that guy, an artist Antoine (Samuel Le Bihan, seen in "Brotherhood of Wolf") falls in love at first sight. Suddenly she is told that he loves her, and he keeps on coming in spite of her repeated rejection. Should she accept his love, instead of having an easy relations with forgettable dates, knowing that loving means complicated things, as she experienced before....
In the meanwhile, Angele's co-workers have their own relationships, and they are told (or implied) in a very subdued, subtle way. Samantha (played by Mathilde Seinger, younger sister of Emmanuelle of "The Nineth Gate" and Harrison Ford film "Frantic") seems to keep on having dates every night with different boys. Other worker, youngest Marie (lovely Tautou) is courted by an old, kind gentleman who asks her to come to his house.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very pink August 1, 2004
This stars Nathalie Baye, not Audrey Tautou, of Amelie (2001) fame. (She has a supporting role.) Baye is Angele, a 40-year-old Parisian beautician who has loved and lost a few too many times. Indeed, as the film opens we (and Samuel Le Bihan as Antoine) watch and hear her being dumped once again. Well, she is careless with men. She is perhaps too "easy." She picks up men, the wrong ones. She is aggressive in her desire. And now she has become cynical. All she wants now are one-nights stands, no more love, no more unbreak my heart. Love is too painful.

So when Antoine falls in love with her at something like first sight (I do have a weakness for love at first sight: it is so, so daring, and so, shall we say, unpredictable) she rejects him out of hand even though he is a vital and handsome artist, confident and winning. What IS her problem? But he pursues her even though he is engaged to another (Helene Fillieres). And when she gets drunk and wants some casual sex with him, he says no. He wants her fully in control of her faculties.

So this is a romantic comedy of sorts centered around a beauty parlor. However any resemblance to Hollywood movies in the same genre (Shampoo (1975) and Hairspray (1988) somehow come to mind) is purely coincidental. Here the salon is brightly and colorfully lit with a tinker bell as the door opens, and the clientele are eclectic to say the least: an exhibitionist who arrives in a raincoat and nothing else; a rich old man lusting after Tautou; a woman with oozing pimples on her...(never mind)...etc.

What makes this work so well is a completely winning performance by Baye, sharp direction by Toni Marshall, and a kind of quirky and blunt realism that eschews all cliche.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful film...... June 2, 2002
I bought this film to practice my French. I figured it was fluffy, but would prove more interesting than language lab. I was right. However, it not only beats language lab, it is film of great depth--and pleasing to the eye. Nathalie Baye, who plays the lead character Angele in the VENUS BEAUTY INSTITUTE, played the wife to Gerhard Depardieu's husband in THE RETURN OF MARTIN GUERRE. She is not a terribly pretty woman, but like most French women she has a "certain something, I know not what" and is a fine actress. The film is currently being marketed as an early Audrey Tautou film (she plays Marie, the 20-year old beautician who becomes involved with an older man), but Tautou has ninth billing and much less screen time than Baye.
Angele is very unhappy. She apparently has never been able to make a committment to a man. One man with whom she apparently had an earlier serious relationship appears throughout the film (she runs back to him whenever she is wounded), and it seems she may have once loved him, but somehow she shot him in the face.
Angele uses casual sex to deal with her unhappiness. Her tactics frequently led to bad experiences. One day as she is being dumped by her latest jerk, a young man who looks suspiciously like a young relative of Depardieu approaches her and tells her he has fallen in love with her. The rest of the film tells their story--including an ex-fiancee with a gun.
This is a beautiful film. The story is beautiful. The film contains beautiful shot after shot. I am attracted to color and the celadon greens, mango pinks, celestial blues, and others are fabulous colors are to die for (think Jamaica). The interior shots of the beauty institute, the apartments, the homes are filled with color and ambient lighting.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
like this videio great movie like it
Published 2 months ago by Teresa Sue Allen
5.0 out of 5 stars Substance vs. Surface
Powerful, entertaining exploration of values of superficial beauty vs. something more substantial. Repetitive nudity makes this awkward/unusable in the classroom.
Published 4 months ago by Rick Treece
1.0 out of 5 stars yuk...gag..
this was just a waste of time... disappointing, childish, the kind of stuff I cancelled cabel to get away from.
Published 9 months ago by PIA
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
It was ok, but i found myself loosing interest in this movie as i watched it. Wouldn't recommend if you are an Audrey T. fan. She is not the main character.
Published 21 months ago by CincySid
4.0 out of 5 stars french movie with english subtitles
I like Nathalie Baye, she is definitely not hollywood pretty nor attractive, but like Audrey Tautou who stars in this film, they are both extremely feminine, unlike Emmanuelle... Read more
Published on October 3, 2007 by N. janus
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Romantic Comedy. Buy it if you love French movies.
`venus BEAUTY institute' written and directed by Tonie Marshall, in French, with English subtitles, strikes one, on first viewing, as being like some other French movies where... Read more
Published on March 26, 2007 by B. Marold
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Light-Hearted Movie to Watch
I first saw this movie on cable but never had the chance to see it from the beginning to see what it was about. Read more
Published on September 8, 2006 by Diaspora Chic
5.0 out of 5 stars An Unknown Gem - Surprisingly Well Done!
I got this movie because it stars Nathalie Baye and expected it to be a light hearted romantic comedy (i.e. Read more
Published on May 16, 2006 by Utah Blaine
3.0 out of 5 stars Love Audrey
Although Audrey did well as usual, this movie was just okay with me. Had its moments of romance, but could have been better.
Published on January 20, 2006 by L. Jerome
3.0 out of 5 stars When you smile I find you handsome
This isn't a bittersweet romance movie. Instead, it's a bittersweet romance-in-the-making. Nathalie Baye shines as the center of a trio of beauticians who struggle to find love. Read more
Published on November 2, 2004 by E. A Solinas
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