There might, conceivably, have been an interesting study of male masochism here. But writer/director Avati is so keen to give us a tasteful, genteel art movie romance - devoid of any kind of political context, of course, despite its inter-war setting - that he squeezes all life out of his story. A shy, virginal, 30-something classics professor, son of a blustering womaniser who happens to be the Pope's tailor, falls for a spoilt beauty, blind since an accident and determined to win back her ex-fiancée by any means necessary, including the arousal of jealousy. That's it, regrettably. Avati sticks to the superficial, never bothers to make his luscious actress/model lead look remotely in period, and refuses to confront the addiction to emotional agony that lies at the heart of what might have been a grand saga of magnificently absurd obsession.