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The Last Mistress (2007)

Une vieille maîtresse (original title)
Unrated | | Drama, Romance | 18 July 2008 (USA)
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Secrets, rumors and betrayals surround the upcoming marriage between a young dissolute man and virtuous woman of the French aristocracy.

Director:

Catherine Breillat

Writers:

Jules-Amédée Barbey d'Aurevilly (novel), Catherine Breillat (adaptation)
2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Asia Argento ... Vellini
Fu'ad Aït Aattou Fu'ad Aït Aattou ... Ryno de Marigny
Roxane Mesquida ... Hermangarde
Claude Sarraute Claude Sarraute ... La marquise de Flers
Yolande Moreau ... La comtesse d'Artelles
Michael Lonsdale ... Le vicomte de Prony
Anne Parillaud ... Mme de Solcy
Jean-Philippe Tesse Jean-Philippe Tesse ... Le vicomte de Mareuil
Sarah Pratt Sarah Pratt ... La comtesse de Mendoze
Amira Casar ... Mademoiselle Divine des Airelles
Lio ... La chanteuse
Isabelle Renauld ... L'arrogante
Léa Seydoux ... Oliva
Nicholas Hawtrey Nicholas Hawtrey ... Sir Reginald
Caroline Ducey ... La dame de Pique
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Storyline

At 30, boyish penniless aristocrat Ryno de Marigny has separated from Villini, a passionate Spaniard and his mistress of 10 years. He's now in love with Hermangarde, a young, wealthy, and titled virgin. Days before the wedding, the bride's grandmother sits Ryno down and insists on knowing if his affair is over. He relates a story of passion, which we see in flashbacks, swearing he loves only Hermangarde. After the wedding, the couple moves to a castle by the sea. And Villini? Can passion survive disgust and self-loathing? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

France | Italy

Language:

French

Release Date:

18 July 2008 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Last Mistress See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$6,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$33,554, 29 June 2008

Gross USA:

$785,037
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Asia Argento hated working with Catherine Breillat, calling her a sadist and claimed that she was abusive on set. See more »

Goofs

While Ryno is descending the stairs at the opera, an Edgar Degas mural can be seen. Degas would have only just been born in this era. See more »

Connections

Featured in Metropolis: Cannes 2007 - Special (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Guillaume Tell: On entend Des montagnes
By Gioachino Rossini
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
this is what an 'art-house' French movie should be! (that it isn't great is alright)
12 July 2008 | by Quinoa1984See all my reviews

The Last Mistress, a film by Catherine Breillat, director of the hot-n-sexy (and probably X-rated if released in the 1970s) Romance, deals with the torn and frayed and wretched relationship between Vellini (Asia Argento), and Ryno de Marigny (first timer Fu'ad Ait Aattou), and how Ryno's mistress threatens his marriage to Hermandarde (Roxane Mesquida), granddaughter of a tough but very fair and reasonable old matriarch. Breillat's direction of the story, which is mostly told in flashback as the grandmother of her soon-to-be-grandson-in-law tells all about his very turbulent bond with Vellini, is sometimes a little dull and stodgy, and it drags in spots that it really should pick up in high gear.

But damn it all if it's not some absorbing times in the midst of a classic period setting among character we can relish in. Granted, Breillat likely cast Aattou for constantly having a 'sexy-man' look (somewhat akin, if you ask me, of a young Mick Jagger with ridiculously striking eyes and big lips). Argento, on the other hand, is cast perfectly, and for every bit that Aatou and Mesquida don't quite connect as husband and wife it's made up for by the total, hot connection between the real two leads. Argento is right at home with this twisted, damaged but alive and easily emotional creature, who has that tendency in French melodramas for tragedy at any moment just to get a rise. But she's also tender in surprising moments, and lets her soul bare completely in rough sex scenes (the craziest set in the desert following a very sudden death of a character), which par for Breillat are go-for-broke.

What the film may lack in really being a fully "modern" work- it feels like a lot of it is so stuck in the period novel setting that it's locked away, which maybe was the right choice- it's made up for by the stars' appeal and the drive of the torrid love affair that just won't go away. It's appealing, boring, and highly charged in equal measure.


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