Critic Consensus: A seductive French import that portrays adult issues of jealousy and betrayal with strong lead performances and considerable French charm.
as Nathalie / Marlène
as La mère de Catherine
as Le fils
as La patronne du bar
as Man at Bar
as Catherine's Patient
as Medical Secretary
as Other Patient
as Real Estate Agent
as Marlene's Friend
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Critic Reviews for Nathalie
... the conceit works beautifully with the right personalities, talented and uninhibited, engaged in its execution.
Nathalie... offers compelling food for thought, with a little visual stimulation thrown in on the side.
Beguiling and surprising.
A woman (Fanny Ardant) hires a prostitute (Emmanuelle Béart) to seduce her unfaithful husband (Gérard Depardieu) in Anne Fontaine's seductive and intriguing film.
Nathalie is intricate, provocative, cleanly acted, but it's never entirely convincing -- and never more so than in the table-turning climax.
Audience Reviews for Nathalie
"nathalie" is the original french movie of "chloe" which gets released just few months ago in america. thus i have to watch "nathalie" to judge whether the remake is a pure parody or not. fortunately, the remake, in this case, isn't really inferior to the original at all. (i do give the original a chance)...and i'm glad that hollywood producer hasn't run out of its ideas by completely copying the original, they create something totally different of their own.
whether it's nathalie or chloe, the basic structure of the plots is the same: a woman doctor suspects her husband cheating on her because he doesn't show up at his birthday party the wife has planned for months. and the paranoid wife hires a professional hooker to seduce the husband just to test his loyalty. the more details the hooker reveals about bedroom affairs, the closer these two women. eventually there's some undercurrent romantic passion developing to unite these two women as something approximately like lovers. then suddenly the wife discovers whatever the hooker has confided is a lie: her husband never even cheats...the wife falls in love all over again with the husband? so how's hooker? what shall she do?
the difference between the original and the remake is: the former is a comedy; the latter is a tragedy. emmanuelle beart, who plays the hooker, seems to put on a defiant sass. she's absolutely confident and her purpose is to entice the wife into mischievous game which she enjoys more and more. as for the lesbianism element, i don't think french nathalie is lesbianistic at all! and it's more like some inneundo to suggest these two women have some tender chemistry mellowing into somehow ambiguous sisterhood. by comparison, the wife seems to take delight at the details of her husband's affairs with the hooker. and she even secretly mocks him by ordering the wine he hates (but the hooker loves) for him. like an esoteric code of intimacy between her and the hooker.
as i was writing along a paper about comic catharsis, and nathalie fits the profile..let i quote one passage from my school paper:
Comedy has to pamper its feast on imagination to the extent of ridicule, but it still has a sense of universality within the plots to induce its own comic catharsis from the audience, as Kitano emphasizes: "the ridiculous in comedy which contains a universal plot arouses in the audience the purified emotion of the same name that does not have the painful element of envy" (Kitano 7). In other words, comic catharsis is "purification of emotion from the envy" that is brought forth by the blend of pain and pleasure altogether, in the same time, it is also antithetical to tragedy, which seeks its mimetic catharsis of fear and pity, because "the kind of pleasure at which comedy aims, by contrast, is achieved if enemies are reconciled and nobody is killed by anybody"
two crucial points would be: the purification of envy and the reconciliation between foes...so here's nathalie. the wife hires the hooker out of envy for husband's affair, and at last her envy dissolves and gets purified when she finds herself being made as a fool. but the ending has been resymbolized into order: she and her husband reconcile. and the hooker silently lets herself out of the wife's life with a gentle kiss on her cheek. comedy.
"nathalie" is something light and mild to give you a pleasant witty smile. very subtly understated. (maybe because the director is a woman? french art-house chic flick?)
but "chloe" is different case, and there's nothing resembling the original except the basic plots..
A brilliantly sexy and mature film that tackles relationships. It delves into our chracters minds and their wants as well as examining trust and sensuality. Fantastic overall with perfect performances especially from the hypnotic Beart.
Not a bad psychological mystery of sexuality. Emmanuelle Beart's hot like a naughty girl. I love arthouse films made in France.
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