Une Vieille Maîtresse (The Last Mistress) (An Old Mistress) Reviews
(2007) The Last Mistress/ Une Vieille Maîtresse
(In French with English subtitles)
For some people to appreciate this film has to have a better understanding about French history since I have no idea during which person this film is set on. I do know that I had already seen this type of situation before on other historical films that taken place during that era and I must say this has to be one of the most boring ones I had ever saw. Based on the Jules-Amédée Barbey d'Aurevilly novel starring Fu'ad Aït Aattou as a 30 year old, boyish penniless aristocrat Ryno de Marigny who's engaged to be married to Hermangarde (Roxane Mesquida)the daughter of a wealthy countess. Except that he can't seem to completely ignore this other "mistress" Vellini (Asia Argento) who also was married to a wealthy old socialite but eventually does not want to have anything to with him. For a good portion of the film, Ryno reveals to the wealthy countess how he's historically connected to his other mistress, while she determines whether he's the right person to marry her daughter. Even with the running time of 104 minutes, it still felt very long and 'shallow' for even though we have a better understanding of the situation that we seem to lose sight of the motivation which this affair was supposed to be started off with a bet between two men. This film is identical to other films such as "Dangerous Liasons", "Valmont", "Dangerous Beauty", "Bel Ami", "Restoration" and "The Duchess" among other movies.
And because it's directed by the controversial director Catherine Breillat expect small scenes of full frontal nudity of Asia Argento for you may have to wait quite awhile to see it, or use your 'fast forward' remote.
1 out of 4 stars
Based upon controversial French novel "Une vieille maîtresse/An old Mistress" by Jules Amédée Barbey d'Aurevilly. Just like most of the French movies The Last Mistress doesn't hesitate from sex, seduction and brutality of love.
It's a story about a young rich French Ryno de Marigny who is ready to get married into a Nobel family. Just before getting married he confronts in front of his future rich wife's grandmother about his last old mistress of 10 years. The movie unfolds how Ryno falls head over heels for an older married woman, who is not even pretty or graceful. It's the rawness which attracts Ryno towards her, whom he first called an ugly nut.
Fu'ad Aït Aattou a newcomer played Ryno with utmost honesty. He is divine and his falling for an Asia Argento's ambiguous character is questionable. But that's the whole point of love, lust and seduction when two unlikely people meet and ruin everything around them along with each other. Asia Argento is amazing, even though I saw her first in Marie Antoinette as French king's crazy mistress raised question of her action ability because she acted the same as she acted here. If I ignore that she was in tedious Marie Antoinette and Une vieille maîtresse release long before atrocious Marie Antoneitte. I actually loved her performance. There are many few actresses who can let them emotionally and physically open like that. You forget that it's the part of an act as it looks reality. Fu'ad Aït Aattou and Asia Argento's chemistry makes this a memrable venture. The long sex confrontation scenes are the proof how involved they are with the subject. Roxane Mesquida as Ryno's wife is stunning as always.
Une vieille maîtresse is a controversial tale of lust, love and seduction. Overall, I enjoyed the movie even though I wanted the characters to be smart not so naïve and stupid, lost in sex, lust and seduction.