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.

By: WH


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
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