Set in Baroque France, a scheming widow and her lover make a bet regarding the corruption of a recently married woman. The lover, Valmont, bets that he can seduce her, even though she is an... See full summary »
In 18th century France, the Marquise de Merteuil and the Vicomte de Valmont play a dangerous game of seduction. Valmont is someone who measures success by the number of his conquests and Merteuil challenges him to seduce the soon to be married Cecile de Volanges and provide proof in writing of his success. His reward for doing so will be to spend the night with Merteuil. He has little difficulty seducing Cecile but what he really wants is to seduce Madame de Tourvel. When Merteuil learns that he has actually fallen in love with her, she refuses to let him claim his reward for seducing Cecile. Death soon follows. Written by
Director Stephen Frears and Screenwriter Christopher Hampton were so taken upon meeting Mildred Natwick, they hadn't realized that they'd forgotten to offer her the part of Valmont's aunt, until after they'd parted company. See more »
In Madame de Rosemonde's garden, Valmont sits behind Madame de Tourvel and asks "Why are you so angry with me?" The camera then cuts to a close-up of Tourvel's face, and Valmont is sitting much closer behind her. See more »
Madame de Rosemonde:
I'm sorry to say this, but, those who are most worthy of love are never made happy by it.
Madame Marie de Tourvel:
But, why? Why should that be?
Madame de Rosemonde:
Do you still think men love the way we do? No... men enjoy the happiness they feel. We can only enjoy the happiness we give. They are not capable of devoting themselves exclusively to one person. So to hope to be made happy by love is a certain cause of grief.
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I believe this is the best of the four adaptations of the play/novel Dangerous Liaisons.
Glenn Close plays Mertuil, who, with Malkovich's Valmont, manipulate and seduce others for entertainment. In comes Michelle Pfieffer's beautiful Madame de Tourvel, whose husband is off at a trial (or something to that extent). Valmont realizes what a capture it would be if he were to succeed in seducing her, and making her forget all her vows of fidelity. Uma Thurman also has a smaller part, one of those who was seduced by Valmont.
Uma Thurman is great, Michelle Pfieffer is exquisite, but it's Close and Malkovich who dominate the screen. Close's mercilessly cunning character has most of the great lines. When asked if betrayal is her favourite word, she replies, "No. Cruelty is. It's much more nobler, don't you think". Malkovich plays a Machiavellian character you lies and cheats to get what he wants
The climax is thrilling, and the finale is incredible. Glenn Close's performance was certainly worthy of the Oscar nomination, and maybe the award. It is her best performance.
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