• 5 out of 5 stars
(2user reviews)
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This good-looking version of Josephine Hart's bestseller - a cautionary tale of amour fou, risqué sex and power play 'twixt a married Tory minister and an enigmatic young French-born auctioneer - is a dull affair. We follow Irons' MP to a crowded cocktail party, where he falls in lust at first glance with his son's girlfriend (Binoche), and soon we're motoring through one ritzy London postal district after another, along a predictable road to disaster - but for whom? The acting strays in different directions. Binoche is reduced to an elegant-chic clothes-horse; Irons, to point up the explosive, mysterious nature of erotic attraction, has to stress ordinariness, which strangely makes his motivation seem mysterious and the erotic attraction ordinary. Richardson, as the wife, gives a shuddering, raging howl of a breakdown, which stuns the movie into silence. The sex scenes make you consider the acting. Boredom is maybe the clue: Malle has been charting this territory since the late '50s, and co-scriptwriter David Hare said it all before in Paris by Night.

By: WH

Release details

Duration: 111 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Louis Malle
Screenwriter: David Hare
Cast: Jeremy Irons
Juliette Binoche
Miranda Richardson
Rupert Graves
Leslie Caron
Ian Bannen
Gemma Clarke

Average User Rating

5 / 5

Rating Breakdown

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A fine film about the undeserving privileged classes collapsing their pack-of-card lives by indulging their risky sexual attractions. They do it with the same sense of blindness and entitlement they apply to the rest of their lives. Jeremy Irons gives a great performance as a Tory minister -- I hated his character. throughout.