( 0 Votes )

A true great, Max Ophüls's 1953 film is erotic, gripping, elegant and mysterious

One of the greats, and in the opinion of many the greatest, has been restored. Max Ophüls's 1953 classic Madame De … is a frictionless miracle of camerawork and a marvel of storytelling: erotic, gripping, elegant and mysterious. Charles Boyer and Danielle Darrieux are André and Louise, a general and his wife in fin-de-siècle Paris: he a witty and urbane man of the world, she a flirtatious society butterfly who is to fall passionately in love with Italian diplomat Baron Donati, played by Vittorio De Sica. The emblem of this forbidden love, a symbol of taboo, transgression and disloyalty, is a pair of earrings, a wedding gift which the Madame sells secretly (Ophüls withholds the precise reason for her financial need). The jeweller informs the general of this sale and, maintaining a tolerant silence, the latter buys them back and gives them to his mistress, who sells them abroad; it is the baron who is to buy them and give them as a present to his love, who betrays him and his gift. It is a dizzying pattern of coincidence contrived by the gods to sport with and punish these hubristic lovers. A superb film and a matchless trio of performances.

Rating: 5/5

Peter Bradshaw

guardian.co.uk © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds

source: http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2013/feb/14/madame-de-review


Who's Online in Entertainment

We have 6 guests online