Elective Affinities

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The Tavianis' adaptation of Goethe's novel may seem strangely restrained compared to their other fables, but it's still a work of exquisite elegance and precision. Set in Tuscany during the Napoleonic era, it charts the forces of attraction and repulsion that shape the complex relationships between a happily married baron and his wife (Anglade, Huppert), the baron's architect friend (Bentivoglio) and the wife's goddaughter (Gillain). If the story itself (engrossing enough) never seems very much more than an unusually formal period romance, the immaculate performances and the Tavianis' masterly control of colour, composition and music (a poignant but unexpectedly modernist score from Carlo Crivelli) make for absorbing viewing.

Release details

Duration: 98 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Paolo Taviani, Vittorio Taviani
Screenwriter: Paolo Taviani, Vittorio Taviani
Cast: Isabelle Huppert
Fabrizio Bentivoglio
Jean-Hugues Anglade
Marie Gillain
Massimo Popolizio
Laura Marinoni
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