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This review is from: Last Tango in Paris (DVD)
If there is anyone out there that wonders why Marlon Brando has
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.