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Eyes Wide Shut
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Country: France, UK, Vietnam
Runtime: 115 minutes
Theatrical Release: 10/30/1992
US DVD Release: 12/11/2001
the novel of the same name which has sold over one million copies
in 43 languages this "sophisticated adaptation of Marguerite
Duras' best-selling memoirs" (Variety) smolders on the screen.
"Masterfully acted and beautifully photographed" (Critics'
Choice), The Lover brilliantly captures the essence of sexual awakening
and forbidden desire like no other film has done before or since.
Jane March is mesmerizing in the role of a poor French teenager who
engages in an illicit affair with a wealthy Chinese heir (Tony Leung)
Saigon. For the first time in her young life she has control, and
she wields it deftly over her besotted lover throughout a series of
clandestine meetings and torrid encounters. But though the lovers
are able to transcend their differences in age, race and class' theirs
is a future that French colonial Vietnamese society will never allow.
Tony Leung Ka Fai
'20s Indo-China. A 15-year-old schoolgirl leans wistfully on the rail
of a ferryboat crossing the Mekong. Observing her is an elegant, rich
Chinese. With exquisite Parisian manners he offers her a lift to her
lowly Saigon boarding-house. Thus meet the Young Girl (March) and
the Chinaman (Leung) referred to in Marguerite Duras's assumedly autobiographical
'80s novel (controversially, Annaud opted for a Gérard Brach
script rather than Duras' own). For all the footage of glistening
flesh - most of the film takes place in a darkened room where the
two explore the realm of the senses - this is basically a melancholic
piece about the remembrance of times, places and passions lost (with
voice-over narration by Jeanne Moreau). The Young Girl, altogether
too complex for the inexperienced March to do more than simply embody,
was then in the process of taking her life into her own hands. She
will become a writer, and has developed the strength to avoid both
the predatoriness of her mother and the romantic dependence of her
lover. But at a price. This sombre quality dignifies an otherwise
shoddily directed movie. Reviewed
by "Time Out"
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