Dangerous Liaisons (1988)
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Movie InfoAdapted for stage and screen several times over the past century, French author Francois Choderlos de Laclos' 1782 novel Les Liasons Dangeureuses was the basis for this Academy Award-winning Stephen Frears film. The plot is motivated by a cruel wager between the beautiful but debauched Marquise de Merteuil (Glenn Close) and her misogynistic former lover, the Vicomte de Valmont (John Malkovitch). The Marquise challenges Valmont to seduce the virginal Cecile de Volanges (Uma Thurman) before the girl can be wed. Valmont offers a more difficult counter-challenge: He bets the Marquise that he will be able to bed the very moral and very married Madame de Tourvel (Michelle Pfeiffer). In the course of carrying out his plan, Valmont is stricken with a sudden case of honor and remorse, while the Marquise becomes all the more vicious. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi … More
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Critic Reviews for Dangerous Liaisons
This incisive study of sex as an arena for manipulative power games takes too long to catch fire and suffers from a deficient central performance.
A sombre, manipulative affair in which the dÃ (C)cor is never allowed to usurp our interest.
Director Stephen Frears accelerates entertainingly through Christopher Hampton's wig-and-powder sado-comedy about sexual mind games in 18th-century France.
Tantalizingly wicked -- watching it makes the color rise to your cheeks.
Emotional cruelty through sexual manipulation is the rule of the game of this smooth transfer of Christopher Hampton's witty play, with an all-American cast, headed by Glenn Close and Michelle Pfeiffer.
Splendid... full of deliciously devious characters
For a tragedy that carries a strong emotional kick, it's wickedly fun.
Close, Malkovich e Pfeiffer aproveitam ao máximo seus fascinantes personagens e os diálogos afiados do roteiro de Hampton, mas o filme é um pouco mais frio do que deveria.
Wicked and well-appointed, this is a deliriously sinful costume a drama.
Its vernacular style allows the film to connect easily with present-day morals, sexual politics, and thirst for power.
Stephen Frears' direction is superb -- the design and lighting evoke simultaneous worlds of privilege and squalor, and while the nature of day-to-day life in 18th century France becomes readily apparent, it never becomes distracting.
Perhaps the juciest adaptation of the story that one could hope for.
It's like Masterpiece Theater ... but not boring!
A scintillating study of sexual politics that skillfully presents the cruel ways two malevolent protagonists manipulate their targets and deceive others around them.
If the very most basic plot is a little too much like some of those incompetently made French sex-romps that show up on late-night cable, everything else is first-rate in this production.
Audience Reviews for Dangerous Liaisons
Dangerous Liaisons oozes sex and excess, the depths of human wickedness, lush, seduction, all the good bits basically. It is directed beautifully by Stephen Frears who doesn't stick to a cliched look at this particular period in France but gives the story an element of believability at the same time as bringing a brilliant bit of theatre to life. No one else really does this as well as Frears, I can see anyone else getting away with a film like The Queen for example, his technique of bringing theatre to the screen is great as it is unique. The performances are among the collective cast's best, if I read the script yesterday and the film had never been made I certainly wouldn't think Glenn Close and John Malkovich but that is why I'm not a casting director, I don't think I've enjoyed either actor as much as I did in this film.
I love France in this time.... pretty dresses. I found it very intriguing and seductive. Proves once more Glenn Close is astonishing and that Keanu Reeves actually has had a good role in his life. WOW.
JOHN MALKOVICH is a strange actor... he kept the same face the entire time!!! he never showed emotion evan when he died!
This is basically Elizabeth, if Elizabeth were an old slutty manipulatress. I know it's a good movie and technically impressive and all that shit that bodice-rippers always are, but these films always deal with the exact same themes. "lol the hidden strength of a woman" "lol the heart plays by no rules" "lol even the most dignified man is still a beast" Come on, now. Mix things up a little bit.
The highlight of the film remains John Malkovich, a chilling sociopath who's out to ruin as many lives as possible just for personal challenge. His performance is a study in how to properly exude inexpressiveness - the perverse, confused smiles, and the declarations of love that are totally hollow even when he doesn't mean them to be. It is almost terrifying. Glenn Close is also capable, though the character is no new take on the Imperial Dragon Lady. Uma Thurman and Michelle Pfeiffer fade away, the latter especially surprisingly considering she picked up a Supporting Actress nod. And Keanu Reeves...*sigh* That performance in The Gift is looking more and more like a fluke every day.
Anyway, Dangerous Liaisons isn't bad. It's just nothing special. Another example of the Oscars drinking the Period Piece Koolaid. There's a bit of humor, and a bit of nastiness and a bit of violence and a whole lot of lust, and it makes the movie watchable but nothing even remotely near art or auteurial. If you're not totally sick of these films yet, I guess this is a good place to go.
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