La Belle Noiseuse Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ May 9, 2012
La Belle Nosieuse is fours long, slow moving and mezmerizing. I wish I knew how Jacques Rivette pulls that off. The story of a blocked elderly genius artist Frenhofer (Michelle Piccoli) who is brought back to creative life by a young fiery woman Marianne (Emmanuelle Beart in her second movie) who becomes his model and muse. Marianne is the partner of a much young artist, and their relationship changes for the worse when she commits body and soul to modeling for the old guy. The gorgeous Beart is naked for much of the film, and though she's beyond stunning, somehow it's not as hot as you would imagine, just interesting. PIccoli's loyal wife and former model (Jane Birkin) is no longer inspiring him, so she's devastated yet empathetic, making her the perfect wife for an artist.

The film touches on lots of rich emotional ground, about the evolving nature of long relationships, youthful artistic vision vs. autumnal artistic closure, the creative process and its volatility and the toll that art takes on love. Huge long sequences that feel almost 'real time' show the artist sketching in long drawn out shots, with the intense sound of a scratching pen and shots of Beart straining in a series of excruciating poses. These moments are utterly engrossing and take a large bulk of the film's running time, depicting an endlessly complex collaboration between artist and model, Piccoli and Beart are totally committed to their roles and boundlessly interesting throughout. The twists and turns of their relationship are riveting or Rivette-ing.

Rivette doesn't even show the final painting to the audience, (though the model and the wife see it, their reactions are unforgettable) and it didn't annoy me! It's almost too sacred to show. This snail's paced film will not appeal to everyone, it lacks the thrills per minute of The Avengers, and is even more slow paced than lugubrious flicks like Melacholia and The Tree of Life. However, if you're into thinking about art and you've got four hours to spare, your patience will be richly rewarded. Noiseuse is one of the crown jewels of the French cinema.
Super Reviewer
October 4, 2008
Action? None. Plot? No. Dialogue? Not much. And yet, I found it fascinating to watch the creative process. I enjoyed watching the two main characters interact. As Edouard (Piccoli) exerted his will over Marianne (Beart), and her resistance gave way to entering into the collaborative process, then Edouard also became more inspired and began to demand more of Marianne. And yes, that Emmanuelle Beart was nude for long stretches more than made up for the weakness of the script. Scenery? Ahhhh!
Harlequin68
Super Reviewer
½ March 28, 2005
[font=Century Gothic]"La Belle Noiseuse" and "L'Enfer" are two French movies starring Emmanuelle Beart, directed by two very different directors who emerged from the French new wave, Jacques Rivette and Claude Chabrol, respectively.[/font]
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[font=Century Gothic][color=blue]"La Belle Noiseuse" starts out with a young artist and his wife, Marianne(Beart) visiting legendary artist, Frenhofer(Michel Piccoli), in the countryside. Frenhofer mentions a long abandoned project - La Belle Noiseuse, a painting of a 17th century courtesan. The young painter, Nicolas, offers his wife as a model without asking her. This of course angers her to no end but nonetheless she returns to pose the following morning. [/color][/font]
[font=Century Gothic][color=blue][/color][/font]
[font=Century Gothic][color=blue]I liked "La Belle Noiseuse" in that it tries to convey the artist-model relationship and how it evolved as the painting continued. It is a beautiful looking film and I especially liked it when it got both artist and model in the same frame. It also examined the relationship of an artist to his/her spouse and how self-involved the artist can get. So much so, that the spouse needs to find an individual life. Frenhofer's wife(Jane Birkin) seems to have a thriving taxidermy hobby on the side and Marianne may have found a path by the end of the movie. Emmanuelle Beart gives a very courageous performance.[/color][/font]
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[font=Century Gothic][color=red][/color][/font]
[font=Century Gothic][color=red]"L'Enfer" starts out with the marriage between a happy young couple, Paul(Francois Cluzet, who reminded me of a young Robert DeNiro) and Nelly(Emmanuelle Beart). Paul is the owner of a thriving resort hotel but the stress and lack of sleep is driving him to become very, very jealous of his wife. What we see is from Paul's point of view and thus we get to see his growing madness but I do not like the idea that madness can be used as an excuse for Paul's abusive behavior. By abusive, I mean that he tries to control Nelly's movements and I find that rather unpleasant. Plus, this is a shoddily shot movie.[/color][/font]
Super Reviewer
January 5, 2012
An absolutely fascinating look at an artist inspired by beautiful woman to deliver more art when the muse is not quite ready to be as museful as he might like.
DrStrangeblog
Super Reviewer
½ September 27, 2010
You're seeing that correctly, this is a 4 hour film. Four hours! In the same time it took two half-pints to cross hazardous terrain on foot and destroy a ring of ultimate power while two armies engaged in a several epic battles during an extended cut, this guy only manages to churn out two measly paintings and a few sketches.

Of course that comparison is in jest as the goals of each film is very different. La Belle Noiseuse gives an extended view into one elderly man's creative process as he tries to paint what he thinks will be his masterpiece when inspired by a new muse Marianne. We see Edouard sketch, and sketch, and sketch some more. Extremely long takes often with fixed camera positioning captures an image emerging from the blank page. This could truly be a fascinating record if the artist was Renoir or Francis Bacon, but I am largely unimpressed with his technique. I certainly can't reconcile his precise demands that his model hold a difficult position when his crude darwings exhibit very liltle detail. I would call him an expressionist in that he states that he is trying to capture the essence of his subject, but achieving limited success.

Another problem concerns the exaggerated drama in the story. A young artist Nicolas offers his girlfriend Marianne as Edouard's subject. She is disgusted that she wasn't asked first, but when she agrees Nicolas thinks it's out of spite and moans that she must be boinking the guy 40 years her senior. Meanwhile Edouard's wife Liz warns Marianne "be careful or he will ruin you" because of his honesty with a brush. These are some pathetic human beings if their feelings are this fragile, and therfore I found these entanglements which are supposed to play out over a 3-day stay hard to swallow.

I did appreciate the scenes of drawing and painting to a point, watching his approach, and especially his interaction with Marianne. This was the real value to me, the relationship between the artist and his model. They talk about inspiration, dedication, sacrifice, and the fleeting mystery of the creative mind. My favorite scene happens when they have both drunk too much wine, and really the only time the overly serious mood is lifted. Marianne is played by Emmanuelle Béart who is one of the most beautiful actresses in film history, and in this role she is completely nude for at least an hour of screen time. I can't think of anyone more daring at baring their body, and studying her form is a providential privilege.

Even with the scary length, extremely slow pace, and above criticisms, it did not feel cumbersome until around the 3-hour mark. I'm conflicted about the rating because it provides a worthy experience in several respects, but I have a strong feeling the re-edited and much shorter Divertimento would qualify as a significant improvement and thus the preferable version. If that turns out to be untrue, I may have to recalibrate this one.

Endnote: The common English title is "The Beautiful Nuisance" but according to the desription given during the movie about what a "noiseuse" is, I am inclined to translate as "The Beautiful Nutcase" since they say a noiseuse acts crazily with a tendency to be a nuisance. However, I can understand an arthouse distributor wanting to class it up a bit.
mvieaddict
Super Reviewer
October 10, 2009
La Belle Noiseuse took me 2 days to finish it. Simple it was a 4 hour movie and wanted to take my time to watch it complete and take every detail the movie brought with it. The main point of the movie was to provide a sight of the burdens of an artists as he created art. The challenge, conflict, sacrifice, frustration, and other expressions and emotions were portrayed. Many people would find this movie boring. It's a matter of taste I guess. I found the long sections of the artist sketching his model extremely admirable.The scenes between Piccoli and Béart were fascinating, because their relationship maintained professional..Emmanuelle Beart was beautiful, shy, uncomfortable with being nude, but as the hours progress into days, she felt comfort.Brilliant.
jimbotender
Super Reviewer
August 15, 2008
Unique experience,transparent penetration to the painter's workshop....Rivette on top of the worldwide mindfuck coalition.
½ July 15, 2007
the realistic scratchy sound of a paintbrush repeated ad noiseuseum grows on you, especially considering what, i mean who, the subject is
April 19, 2012
Jacques Rivette prideful achievements with La Belle Noiseuse are capturing the perfect, warm and windy French countryside weather and the struggle of an artist before he makes a master piece. Michel Piccoli and Emmannuelle Béart helped with their marvelous performances.
January 27, 2013
Sublime. Ça rappelle L'oeuvre d'Émile Zola.
June 18, 2012
Be a fly on the wall as an ageing artist studies, draws, paints his life model Emmanuelle BÃ (C)art. Interesting to see the technique and the dedication.
Super Reviewer
½ May 9, 2012
La Belle Nosieuse is fours long, slow moving and mezmerizing. I wish I knew how Jacques Rivette pulls that off. The story of a blocked elderly genius artist Frenhofer (Michelle Piccoli) who is brought back to creative life by a young fiery woman Marianne (Emmanuelle Beart in her second movie) who becomes his model and muse. Marianne is the partner of a much young artist, and their relationship changes for the worse when she commits body and soul to modeling for the old guy. The gorgeous Beart is naked for much of the film, and though she's beyond stunning, somehow it's not as hot as you would imagine, just interesting. PIccoli's loyal wife and former model (Jane Birkin) is no longer inspiring him, so she's devastated yet empathetic, making her the perfect wife for an artist.

The film touches on lots of rich emotional ground, about the evolving nature of long relationships, youthful artistic vision vs. autumnal artistic closure, the creative process and its volatility and the toll that art takes on love. Huge long sequences that feel almost 'real time' show the artist sketching in long drawn out shots, with the intense sound of a scratching pen and shots of Beart straining in a series of excruciating poses. These moments are utterly engrossing and take a large bulk of the film's running time, depicting an endlessly complex collaboration between artist and model, Piccoli and Beart are totally committed to their roles and boundlessly interesting throughout. The twists and turns of their relationship are riveting or Rivette-ing.

Rivette doesn't even show the final painting to the audience, (though the model and the wife see it, their reactions are unforgettable) and it didn't annoy me! It's almost too sacred to show. This snail's paced film will not appeal to everyone, it lacks the thrills per minute of The Avengers, and is even more slow paced than lugubrious flicks like Melacholia and The Tree of Life. However, if you're into thinking about art and you've got four hours to spare, your patience will be richly rewarded. Noiseuse is one of the crown jewels of the French cinema.
April 2, 2012
An amazing film which gives us an insiders look at an artist and his canvas. There is no true explanation of this film which would do it any service, accept to say that it is truly a wonderful experience to be with these people for four of the quickest hours you have ever spent with a film.
August 10, 2010
An amazing film which gives us an insiders look at an artist and his canvas. There is no true explanation of this film which would do it any service, accept to say that it is truly a wonderful experience to be with these people for four of the quickest hours you have ever spent with a film.
November 19, 2011
Fascinating and unconventional examination of the creative process, I love it!
March 30, 2011
It's just perfect. it's long but so live is. you just need to accept it as it is. Great sense of rhythm, also long slow-moving camera shots- you can't see this in modern cinema
½ January 3, 2011
OMG!!! 4hrs of your life thrown in the rubbish bin! At one point I seriously walked out of the theater for 45min for a sandwich & cigarette, came back in and had missed NOTHING! If you claim you "love" this film, you are simply lying & pretending to be "profound" in a way that really doesn't exist. I saw this film in Brazil with my g/f...a french lawyer, during a french film festival...we were LAUGHING at how absurdly horrid it was, and how happy we were to be leaving the theater - warning those who were entering at what a huge mistake they were about to suffer through. This was one of the 5 worst films i've ever witnessed...utterly ridiculous in its desperate attempts to create some deep drama or story. basically 3.5 hrs of sketching a girl, with almost zero dialogue...with everything so over-the-top barfingly dramatic, that it was flat out amazing that someone actually produced it.
March 9, 2010
An incredible, almost epic, depiction of a reclusive artist and the painting that has been his obsession for over a decade, "La Belle Noiseuse".

The film stars Michel Piccoli who plays Edouard Frenhofer, a well known painter who spends most of his days in his chateau, living an almost reclusive existence. His wife, Liz played by Jane Birkin, was his original muse and modelled for "La Belle Noiseuse" ten years before - a project that is all but abandoned. Edouard has grown tired and despondant about his work and claims it doesn't hold his interest like it once did. One evening, Frenhofer's agent, Porbus (played by Gilles Arbona), introduces the beautiful Marianne (played by Emmanuelle Beart) to his client with the intention of reigniting his artistic fire in hopes that he'll recommence work on his unfinished masterpiece.

Jacques Rivette's film is almost hypnotising as it shows the audience the painful and beautiful moments that go into creating a painting that is portrayed as the ultimate psychological achievement for Frenhofer. It cleverly plays this out alongside Marianne's often misguided perception of the artist and herself in this role as Frenhofer's nude model.

It's impeccably shot and at 4 hours in length, it's a gift that we're allowed enough time to drift into every scene of the film effortlessly. The film is edited in such a fluid and graceful way that it's pace allows the audience into these characters lives. So intimate is this transition that you can almost taste the French coffee, smell the paint on canvas and feel the Roussillon sunshine on your face.

A wonderful film.
September 21, 2009
La Belle Noiseuse (1991) The Beautiful Troublemaker The film won the Grand Prix at the 1991 Cannes Film Festival. Warning this film is 4 hours and is about art and artists. lots of dialogue and no action. classic french movie. A famous but reclusive painter, Frenhofer (Piccoli) lives quietly with his wife and former model (Birkin) in a large château in rural Languedoc-Roussillon. When a young artist visits him with his girlfriend Marianne (Béart), Frenhofer is inspired to commence work once more on a painting he long ago abandoned - La Belle Noiseuse - using Marianne as his model. The film painstakingly explores Frenhofer's creative rebirth, using lengthy real-time takes of the artist's hand (provided by Bernard Dufour) working on the canvas.. five stars magnificent but not recommended for most viewers.
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