Le Parfum d'Yvonne (Yvonne's Perfume) (1994) - Rotten Tomatoes

Le Parfum d'Yvonne (Yvonne's Perfume) (1994)

Le Parfum d'Yvonne (Yvonne's Perfume)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

In this romantic French drama, an older man remembers a meaningful summer romance he had in 1958. It begins as Victor is seen staring into the flames of an apparent bonfire. He is remembering the day he met Yvonne in the luxurious lobby of a Swiss hotel on Lake Geneva. They encounter Dr. Meinthe, the cultured but flagrantly gay medico who provides some form of service for the Algerian war. Together, the threesome revel in a relaxing time all the while, poking fun at the elegant folk around them. ~ Sandra Brennan, Rovimore
Rating: Unrated
Genre: Drama, Romance, Art House & International
Directed By:
In Theaters:
On DVD: Apr 28, 2009


Hippolyte Girardot
as Victor Chmara
Sandra Majani
as Yvonne Jacquet
Jean-Pierre Marielle
as Dr. Rene Meinthe
Richard Bohringer
as Yvonne's Uncle
Laurence Lerel
as Cintra Barmaid
Josephine Sourdel
as Daisy Marchi
Claude Aufaure
as Spaniel Headed Man
Corinne Marchand
as Tilleuls Patron
Paul Guers
as Daniel Hendrickx
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for Le Parfum d'Yvonne (Yvonne's Perfume)

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Audience Reviews for Le Parfum d'Yvonne (Yvonne's Perfume)

A beautiful, sensuous film about a summer of love between two people who are not what they pretend to be. Yvonne (Sandra Majani) and Victor (Hippolyte Giradot) are two beautiful young people who meet and fall in love. He poses as a Russian Count and she is an aspiring actress. The cinematography is breath-taking, the scenery is magnificent, the actors beautiful, the love scenes tender and romantic. The story, however, is a bit muddled. Why he pretends to be someone else is never explained (except in the film's synopsis). Why she responds as she does when he proposes to make her dream come true, why the shocking turn of events at the end when Victor returns to Geneva and reunites with Rene (Jean-Pierre Marielle) are never properly explained. As one who is not a francophone, one must assume that some things were left untranslated, or else the connecting scenes were edited out. The way the scenes cut back and forth between the present and the reminiscences of that summer was also a bit disconcerting. Victor may be older, but not by much. In spite of these flaws, a superb film that kept this viewer enthralled. As a whole, a rewarding, if somewhat confusing, film. Four stars.

Mark Abell
Mark Abell

Super Reviewer

Following director Laconte's trail led here, to this intriguing tale of two summer lovers, wrapped in luminous cinematography, generously filled with gorgeous soft-erotica, set against a 1950s provincial Swiss lake-resort town where Bourgeois idle away within their closed, elegant world.

Aspiration to acceptance into such aristocratic circles drives the pretensions of the three main characters, each disguising a baser background. Girardot, avoiding poverty and French conscription, lives frugally in a boarding house but mingles elsewhere as a monied Russian Count.

He's instantly smitten when snapped right up by the utterly mesmerizing Yvonne (Majani). Looking well-bred, she's truly a woman kept -by an elderly man of means (Marielle) who, though gay, is fully enamored by her.

As with many quality French films, subtle acting here is the slow reveal. Majani's skills in seduction let Marielle put behind him the homosexuality he despises in himself. Seeing Majani toting Girardot as replacement SugarDaddy, Marielle curses her for it (via double-entendre) and sets upon self-destructive behaviors, insulting the gays and Bourgeois who would be his sad future without her. Yet age-wise Marielle knows to cherish his waning moments with Majani - and to mentor Girardot, far too inexperienced to comprehend the ruin an obsession with Majani may bring.

There's many purposely unanswered mysteries about the trio's pasts, but the more intriguing mysteries here are what true emotions Majani feels now - and what future awaits emotionally-enslaved Marielle and Girardot, who can know only the scent that lingers of this woman, but not truly know the woman herself.

Yet another mystery is that, in real life, the here-captivating Majani disappeared from public view; Googling reveals nothing factual of her, except this role.

Superlative transfer quality of outstanding, almost dream-like, cinematography and set-pieces throughout.

RECOMMENDATION: Intelligent, sexy, emotional, lush-viewing. As such, well recommended.

TonyPolito Polito

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