Chéri (15)

Film

Comedy drama

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Time Out rating:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>2</span>/5

User ratings:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>2</span>/5
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Time Out says

Posted: Tue May 5 2009

The multi-talented and adaptable director Stephen Frears has produced one of his most dull, airless and conventional films in this Christopher Hampton adaptation of two of Colette’s semi-scandalous, Belle-Epoque-set Parisian novels. It’s a shame, given the splendour on offer: Michelle Pfeiffer is magnificently attired in a series of to-die-for Grecian bended, period costumes, playing successful, well-mannered courtesan Lea, who embarks on a six-year, protective relationship with callow Chéri (Rupert Friend), the kohl-eyed son of a colleague she’d nurtured and nicknamed as a boy. At 19, he presents the perfect picture of self-loathing dissolution that we associate with the world of Oscar Wilde.

The film is a sober portrait of unconventional love and restrained suffering – punctured by a moment of explicit, wailing, arch-backed pain – that may be undone by its discretion and quiet irony. If Pfeiffer is occasionally touching – hauling back her emotions when caught off-guard – then Friend, doing a passable impression of Terence Stamp in his beauteous youth, is too passive an object to be truly moving. His crucial marriage of convenience to fellow ‘orphan’ Edmée (Felicity Jones) makes him as much a cipher as an emotional victim of the veiled, hypocritical and corrupt machinery of capitalist business the book and film seek to expose and criticise. Indeed, Frears, who also supplies a knowing narration, is content to leave much of the film’s metaphor to exquisite architecture and design: notably the exotic, perfumed gardens of Chéri’s mother’s grand house in Neuilly where Lea repeatedly recalls her halcyon days with the boy, only compounding an impression of the film as a mere picture-book remembrance.
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Release details

Rated:

15

UK release:

Fri May 8, 2009

Duration:

100 mins

Users say

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<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>0</span>/5

Average User Rating

3.1 / 5

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LiveReviews|8
1 person listening
Daniel

The filmgripped me throughout. It was just the right pace and extremely enjoyable. The social mileau, whether realistic or not, was fascinating and the pycho-sexual drama of the story created a perfect level of suspence. Not the best film, but certainly an enjoyable indulgence.

Daniel

The filmgripped me throughout. It was just the right pace and extremely enjoyable. The social mileau, whether realistic or not, was fascinating and the pycho-sexual drama of the story created a perfect level of suspence. Not the best film, but certainly an enjoyable indulgence.

Jane

I love the custums~ They are golgerous. The story, however, was that great

Jane

I love the custums~ They are golgerous. The story, however, was that great

Deborah K

I am currently staying in France and went to see this film a couple of weeks ago. What a disappointment! The acting was bad, the story wasn't engaging. I agree the costumes are great, and the settings alright. But other than that there is nothing positive to say. And this is from a francophile. It was amusing to hear the French audience laughing at Michelle Pfeiffer's attempt to say "Cheri". Perhaps you could go watch it for that?

Deborah K

I am currently staying in France and went to see this film a couple of weeks ago. What a disappointment! The acting was bad, the story wasn't engaging. I agree the costumes are great, and the settings alright. But other than that there is nothing positive to say. And this is from a francophile. It was amusing to hear the French audience laughing at Michelle Pfeiffer's attempt to say "Cheri". Perhaps you could go watch it for that?