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Valmont 1989

  • Miloš Forman
  • November 17, 1989
  • 137 mins
  • English
  • Drama, Romance
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 honorable woman. If he wins, he can have his lover to do as he will. However, in the process of seducing the married woman, Valmont falls in love. Based on the same novel as "Dangerous Liaisons."

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While this movie was fairly entertaining and a nicely done period piece, I am bewildered by the decision to release this movie less than one year after Dangerous Liaisons, which is based on the same novel and is just a less malicious retelling of the story. This probably explains the anemic box office number of less than two million dollars. At least they waited ten years after this to attempt to retell the story again in Cruel Intentions. Aside from the timing error, there are some excellent performances in the movie. I believe Annette Bening was fabulous in her portrayal as the scheming widower, showing you her cunning side as well as making you believe she has an innocence about her. It was enjoyable to see Meg Tilly in this role though it made me sad to realize she retired from acting and left us with her annoying sister Jennifer. You have to love the costumes, music, and scenery used in the film. A little too much opera for my liking but the rest more than makes up for it.

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