Thursday, September 15, 2011

Une Vieille Maîtresse (Catherine Breillat, 2007)

Sometimes streaming services get you to watch some gems you might not have otherwise bothered with. Une Vieille Maîtresse (The Last Mistress) is such a film. The main draw, and the primary reason I came across it, was the film's star, Asia Argento.

The story involves a young libertine, Ryno de Marigny (model Fu'ad Aït Aattou), a noble of small means who falls in love with a woman of questionable lineage, Vellini (Argento). She is the illegitimate child of an Italian noblewoman and a Spanish matador, married to an English baronet. In the present Marigny is set to marry Hermangarde (Roxane Mesquida). Her guardian is her grandmother who has some concerns over Marigny past. Soon before the wedding the old woman convinces him to tell her the story of his ten year affair with Vellini. This takes up the bulk of the film's narrative.

Aattou is fairly good in the film for a fairly unaccomplished actor. Director Catherine Breillat discovered him in a café, and the role and tone of the film require little more of him than to be attractive and read lines... well, that is what models do best. Argento gets the most personality, though this is a rather staid film for a romantic/erotic period piece. She does show off a lot of her acting talent though and should dispel any belief that her career is based on her looks, willingness to disrobe, and her famous father.

The film is rather beautiful to watch. The scenery, sets and costuming are all nicely done. Despite the French language with subtitles, it is rather compelling. It is a very good movie to chill out to. There are no fight scenes, and the one duel that takes place was Xanax fueled. Great rainy afternoon movie for the coming Fall.

1 comment:

Major.Mack said...

never heard of it but ill take a look now

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