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!
One of Kurosawa's favorite films.