Maîtresse (Mistress)


Maîtresse (Mistress)

Critics Consensus

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Total Count: 6


Audience Score

User Ratings: 613
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Movie Info

For a change, the character portrayed by Gérard Depardieu in Maîtresse is relatively normal; it is the world around him which has gone slightly mad. Looking for a measure of affection and companionship, Olivier (Depardieu) crosses the path of the lovely Ariane (Bulle Ogier). She happens to be a professional dominatrix-and from the evidence we're presented, she's one of the most accomplished of her ilk. How this mismatched (to put it mildly) relationship can possibly work is the core of Maîtresse. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi


Critic Reviews for Maîtresse (Mistress)

All Critics (6)

Audience Reviews for Maîtresse (Mistress)

  • Apr 25, 2011
    People accustomed to the later, mainstream work of Gerard Depardieu and director Barbet Schroeder will find "Maitresse" shocking. Heck, almost anyone will. This daring blend of romance and sadomasochism was originally rated X in America, and a graphic depiction of penis impaling alone justifies that classification. And would you like a gratuitous shot of a horse slaughtering as a bonus? Depardieu is Olivier, a young (thin!) slacker whose friend Mario takes him along on an implausible door-to-door job selling art books. After a sexy blonde (Bulle Ogier) calls the two inside to stop an overflowing bathtub, she happens to mention that the resident in the lower apartment is away on vacation. Given their middling sales (no surprise there), Olivier and Mario decide to rob the vacant flat. Unfortunately, they discover too late that the woman lied -- she also owns the lower apartment, and uses it as a lair for her secret work as a dominatrix. She reacts to their intrusion nonchalantly and, rather than calling the police, recruits Olivier to help humiliate one of her clients. Naturally, this collaboration can only lead to love. From there, the story explores the couple's curious relationship. Olivier does not feel threatened by girlfriend Ariane's lurid encounters -- they do not involve intercourse, and Ogier never even appears nude -- but he is bothered by all the earnings she passes to her silent partner Gautier. Eventually, his investigation of Gautier threatens to end their unconventional bond. The explicit acts of "Maitresse" are not faked. Ariane's victims are actual masochists, and the whip marks on their bodies are real. The actors reportedly enjoyed the exhibitionism of appearing on film. As for the impaling scene, just try to avoid flinching. There are nails and a block of wood. Enough said. The costumes and set decoration of "Maitresse" are a wonderful time capsule of mid-'70s chic, and Depardieu's likably boyish presence will be an eye-opener to the many Americans who can't understand his contemporary superstardom. Falling somewhere between drama and perverse comedy, this film is definitely worth a peek.
    Eric B Super Reviewer
  • Jan 11, 2006
    [font=Century Gothic]In "Maitresse", Olivier(Gerard Depardieu) has just arrived in Paris, needing somewhere to crash for a few days. So, he looks up his old pal, Mario(Andre Rouyer), who has a scam where he tries to enter strangers' apartments under the pretense of selling art books. After many failures, they are finally successful when they come to the apartment of Ariane(Bulle Ogier) and help her turn off her bathtub faucet. They learn that her downstairs neighbor is currently on vacation in the Riviera. Later that night, the two men break into the downstairs apartment. What they find is very unexpected...[/font] [font=Century Gothic][/font] [font=Century Gothic]"Maitresse" is a deliriously kinky film. Even today, it would be very daring. The film is about the importance of enjoying your work without selling out your principles. In this case, Ariane is a dominatrix who is successful in separating her professional and personal lives. Most importantly, the movie does not pass judgment on any of the characters. It also comes up with one of the best definitions of love I have ever seen.[/font]
    Walter M Super Reviewer

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