The Lover (L'amant)


The Lover (L'amant)

Critics Consensus

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Total Count: 22


Audience Score

User Ratings: 8,602
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The Lover (L'amant) Photos

Movie Info

The Lover is director Jean-Jacques Annaud's adaptation of Marguerite Duras' minimalist 1984 novel. Set in French Indochina in 1929, the film explores the erotic charge of forbidden love. Jane March plays a French teenager sent to a Saigon boarding school, while Tony Leung is a 32-year Chinese aristocrat. They look at each and they both see a blinding white flash; it's kismet. He offers her a ride in his limousine and soon they meet in his "bachelor room" where they revel in a wide variety of creative sexual encounters. However, they both realize their love is doomed. She comes from a troubled family that includes a mentally-disturbed mother (Frederique Meininger) and drug-addicted brother (Arnaud Giovaninetti). It also appears that her family would not approve of an interracial tryst. But then neither would his family, since in order to inherit his father's wealth, he must not break from a traditional Chinese arranged marriage.

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Jane March
as The Young Girl
Tony Leung Ka Fai
as Chinese Man
Arnaud Giovaninetti
as Elder Brother
Melvil Poupaud
as Younger Brother
Lisa Faulkner
as Helene Lagonelle
Xiem Mang
as Chinese Man's Father
Philippe LeDem
as French Teacher
Ann Schaufuss
as Anne-Marie Stretter
Tania Torrens
as Principal
Do Minh-vien
as Young Boy
Helene Patarot
as Assistant Mistress
Nguyen Thi Hoa
as Young Servant
Frédéric Auburtin
as Liner Pianist
Nguyen Van Lam
as Kitchen Helper
Minh Trang
as Dormitory Supervisor
Truong Thu
as Bus Driver
Vu Kim Trong
as Young Girl's Coolie
Vu Dinh Thi
as Ferry Captain
Lu Van Trang
as Bus Controller
Alido H. Gaudencio
as Anne-Marie Stretter's Driver
Lam Thanh
as Servant
Jeanne Moreau
as Narrator
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Critic Reviews for The Lover (L'amant)

All Critics (22) | Top Critics (9) | Fresh (7) | Rotten (15)

Audience Reviews for The Lover (L'amant)

  • Jun 16, 2010
    This movie is set in 1920s Saigon. On a chance encounter on a ferry crossing a rich Chinese man in his 30s meets a French school girl. They start an affair. He loves her but she seems to stay with him for his money as her family are poor. He wants to marry her but is forbidden because of their race and his father has planned an arranged marriage for him. She leaves for France but he never forgets her. Movie content is a little uneasy at times. Also sexually explicit.
    Candy R Super Reviewer
  • Sep 03, 2009
    The Lover, originally released in France as L'Amant, is a 1992 drama film produced by Claude Berri and directed by Jean-Jacques Annaud. Based on the semi-autobiographical 1984 novel by Marguerite Duras, the film details the illicit affair between a teenage French girl and a wealthy Chinese man in 1929 French Indochina. In the screenplay written by Annaud and Gérard Brach, the girl's age is changed from 15½ to 18 and is portrayed by actress Jane March, who turned eighteen shortly after, filming, began. This film which was treated by critics is worth seeing and delights. It suffers from different styles of acting and various accents. But also deals with interesting issues like first love ? sexual politics ? the power of sexuality which is still taboo for some people. The wrong with this movie is that received excessive publicity for its graphic sex which is to the narrative and progression of its two characters. Its dubious reputation has also contributed that the writer Marguerite Duras has repudiated the film. After all these I still found The Lover one very good film and the affair between a young French girl with an older rich Asian is not only about sex but about power, pride, and the subtle relationship of identity and politics. You can see how an erotic affair turns less and less passionate how a young girl feels of a first romance. One of the most sensual film I have ever seen.
    Arianeta L Super Reviewer
  • Apr 04, 2009
    Another great Annaud oeuvre. I love the book and this film was very faithful to Marguerite Duras's wonderful, evocative narration. I was very skeptical because so much of Duras's sad, beautiful work is often too abstract, contradictory, ambiguous, and yet Annaud did manage to make episodes linear, comprehensible, but not trivial. There's still so much properly left unsaid about the relationship of a 15 year old French girl and a 32 year old Chinese man. It was quite a relief, actually, to have so much vague, fascinating content put in images, and feelings incarnated in real people. Jeanne Moreau's voice was exactly the type of voice I wanted to hear in an adaptation of L'Amant. Contained, breathy, grave. Tony Leung Ka Fai was also, quite honestly, an accurate choice to play the lovesick man. His performance is one of the most captivating things about the movie, apart from the cinematography and the richness of the story itself. It was a very pleasant surprise, I didn't think I would like it. It's beautiful.
    Elvira B Super Reviewer
  • Mar 26, 2009
    The sex scenes are indeed graphic, but by no means done in bad taste or just for the sake of sex. The film is much more than about lust, it is about two lovers who found refuge in each others arms. Jane March and Tony Leung gave great performances, showing the conflict of emotions that they had to endure. Beautifully paced storyline with great atmosphere and soundtrack. It will make this a worthwhile movie experience. Very highly recommended.
    Daisy M Super Reviewer

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