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Les Liaisons Dangereuses (Dangerous Liaisons) (200-Minute Version in French)
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Top Customer Reviews
Director Josée Dayan has accommodated Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt's adaptation to the screen and in doing so has updated this elegant, high costume drama into the haute couture setting of Paris in the 1960s. There have been many filmed and staged versions of de Laclos' novel and while they all have had their strong points, for this viewer Dayan's film unravels the plot and the characters with much more finesse and ultimate credibility than the predecessors.
Many have scoffed at the casting of the still gorgeous Catherine Deneuve as Madame de Merteuil, claiming that the author had in mind a much younger femme fatale for this role. But times have changed, women are more sensually alive in the age realm of Deneuve, and for me the casting is perfect: here is a woman of the world who is not just out to spar with Valmont (another very well cast Rupert Everett) in a deadly game of lover's vengeance, she is also facing the fact (like the Marschallin in 'Der Rosenkavlier') that her wealth and aging beauty are on the wane and that makes her a much more fleshed out character.Read more ›
I have read some reviews here and there on this version that say that Deneuve is not believable as a sex object. My response is that she could be if she was ever a sex object to you. For instance, when she acted in Belle de Jour, or when she was the face for Chanel Couture in the 80s. Thus, the vestige of that profound beauty is preserved in her slightly bloated body and weary face. To me, real beauty is that kind that ages, yet maintains some of the original vitality and aura of its former self. Catherine does this. Moreover, this production emphasizes how lust is absolutely enhanced by wealth, luxury, and power. It is then credible why teenage boys may want to have an affair with a woman old enough to be their mother. That phenomenon can be compared to drinking a 50-year-old cabernet or merlot. What wine connoisseur could resist???? Either sex, when precocious, appreciates instruction from a master. Valmont desires Madame de Merteuil because she is no longer accessible, because she is a master seductress, and not because she is sexy (although the average heterosexual male will find her sexy). She was a very rich, very powerful woman in Haute Parisienne society, which is comparable to heroin to some. Predators thrive on conquests.Read more ›
In this film all of the plot points are followed, but with some noticeable changes. First, Gercourt is actually a character, where in the novel he is always significantly absent. Gercourt, however, was miscast. The fellow is just too old to make a credible fiance to a 19-year old girl in 1960s France. Second, obviously, the context is not eighteenth-century France, but an elegant Paris in the Sixties. The cars used in this production are absolutely stunning; they almost glow. Third, Deneuve is a wonderful actress, and her portrayal of Merteuil is far superior to Glenn Close, however she is too old. In the book she was in her late twenties, and a woman in her mid-thirties would have been more credible here.
Also, the writers fleshed out the ending quite a bit in very interesting and humanizing ways, where Laclos sort of just sort of killed everyone off with gusto. The inclusion of all of the characters, and the development of all of their interrelationships makes this a very long movie (270 minutes!). The movie is often visually stunning. Many of the sets absorb light in beautiful ways, radiating their darkness.
This film is infinitely superior to Close and Malkovich's botched DANGEROUS LIAISONS, which was just overblown, overacted ham, in my opinion.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I was eager to see one of my favorite actresses is an adaptation of one of my all-time favorite novels, but was appalled by the low-quality of the horrifically dubbed DVD. Read morePublished on July 21, 2014 by RANDEL
Almost perfect. A very good adaptation, beautiful and nasty. I am happy to add this to my library, where it will remain a favorite.Published on January 26, 2013 by NLB
I purchased movie from Steelhead Enterprises and did not realize I was missing so much of the movie until the credits appeared (SURPRISINGLY enough). Read morePublished on May 4, 2012 by Sordid Lady
First and foremost, this movie is beautifully filmed. The art director obviously had a ball with the sets, clothing, and other period details. Read morePublished on July 10, 2010 by Amazon Customer
Enjoyed immensely. Had seen the versions with Glenn Close, Jean Morreau and Annette Bening, as well as the opera composed by Conrad Suza and performed at the San Francisco Opera... Read morePublished on August 3, 2008 by Gerald Palladino
Je trouvais ce film bien réalisé, Catherine Deneuve est "trop" comme la salope maline et séduisante. Read morePublished on July 17, 2008 by Ivas A. Morgan
This DVD is absolutely captivating. It's an adaptation Of
Choderlos de Laclos' book written in the seventeen hundreds. Read more