The Lover (L'amant) (1992)
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as The Young Girl
as Chinese Man
as Elder Brother
as Younger Brother
as Helene Lagonelle
as Chinese Man's Father
as French Teacher
as Chinese Man's Father
as Anne-Marie Stretter
as Young Boy
as Assistant Mistress
as Young Servant
as Liner Pianist
as Kitchen Helper
as Dormitory Supervisor
as Bus Driver
as Young Girl's Coolie
as Ferry Captain
as Bus Controller
as Anne-Marie Stretter's Driver
Critic Reviews for The Lover (L'amant)
Annaud and his collaborators have got all of the physical details just right, but there is a failure of the imagination here; we do not sense the presence of real people behind the attractive facades of the two main actors.
Scratch away the steamy, evocative surface, remove Jeanne Moreau's veteran-voiced narration, and you have only art-film banalities.
Never mind that in portraying passion, the two seem to be demonstrating the proper use of the Salad Shooter.
Too bad that the film is marred by the vices of international productions, as it deals with issues seldom shown in American movies, such as the power of sexuality.
Stylish if somewhat tedious study of a young Vietnamese woman who falls under the spell of an older dandy.
Audience Reviews for The Lover (L'amant)
On the whole, L'amant strikes me as aloof and disconnected. It has aspirations of being elevated and artsy but offers no reason for empathy or audience connection with the characters. In the end I didn't really care whether or not the two lovers stayed together or parted ways. A beautiful but rather hollow film.
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.
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.
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