Time Out says

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.


Release details

111 mins

Cast and crew

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