The Last Mistress (Une vieille maitresse)

Rated R 104 minutes 2008

As a notorious femme fatale of 19th-century Paris, Asia Argento poses and writhes like there’s no tomorrow. That’s more or less the point of director Catherine Breillat’s lightly veiled satire of the tyrannies of gender and class in the last days of the French aristocracy, adapted from the novel by Jules Barbey d’Aurevilly. Too bad Ms. Argento, as female upsetter Señora Vellini, upstages all that with her vampy hamming (“I want to drink his blood!”), directed at a young nobleman who’s prettier than she is (Fu’ad Aït Aattou). The bitchy character support by Claude Serraute, Michael Lonsdale, and Anne Parillaud provides needed perspective. Beautifully photographed by Yorgos Arvanitis (104 min.).

Film Credits

Director: Catherine Breillat

Writer: Jules-Amédée Barbey d'Aurevilly and Catherine Breillat

Producer: Jean-François Lepetit

Cast: Asia Argento, Fu'ad Ait Aattou, Roxane Mesquida, Claude Sarraute, Yolande Moreau, Michael Lonsdale, Anne Parillaud, Jean-Philippe Tesse, Sarah Pratt and Amira Casar

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