Saturday, March 19, 2016

832. La belle noiseuse

La belle noiseuse
The Beautiful Troublemaker
Directed by Jacques Rivette

Our streak of drawn out films continues with La belle noiseuse, which clocks in at four hours.  I guess the intention of this one is to portray every mind numbing moment of the artistic process to illustrate how exhausting it is.  Point taken, I suppose, although as a writer, I am painfully aware of this already.

Frenhofer is a retired artist living a quiet existence with his wife, who used to be a model.  They are visited by a young couple, Nicolas and Marianne.  Nicolas is an aspiring artist and offers Marianne up as a model for Frenhofer's unfinished painting, La belle noiseuse.  Slowly, Frenhofer creates his painting, unsure whether he still has what it takes to make something beautiful.  Slowly.  Very slowly.

I know it would have been totally cliche, but I was hoping for more of a passionate love story between Frenhofer and Marianne.  I guess their connection was more artistic and intellectual than sexual.  How dull of them.  At the very least, it would have been a bit more exciting; as I said, this movie moves at a snail's pace.

It is, undoubtedly, quite beautiful but I was ultimately disappointed a bit with the story.  It seemed reluctant to move in a significant direction, at least until the end.  I never thought I would say that about something inspired by Balzac!

RATING: ***--

Interesting Facts:

One of Kurosawa's favorite films.


  1. Well, Amanda, there is actually a difference between Frenhofer and us regarding the art creation. We (thankfully) don't have to make other people go through the same excruciating process. Emmanuelle Béart is a primal example here. She must have had to spend a lot of hours standing naked in weird postures and still managed to perform at a very high level. Her job is truly amazing here but had to do all that because a screenwriter/director said so. In the same way, her character is manhandled by the artist in order to find the perfect posture.

    Personally, I don't know if I could stand having another human being at the expenses of my flimsy inspiration. At least, when you are a writer, you only hurt yourself... and your editor.