August 5, 2009 suesbent
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The movie Cheri starring Michelle Pfeiffer as Lea de Lonval and Kathy Bates as Madame Peloux was an awful failure in my opinion. Based on the book Cheri by Colette it focuses on a love affair between the fifty-something year old Lea and the young twentyish son of Madame Peloux, Cheri, played by Rupert Friend.

Set in the early twentieth century of Europe the location shots are sumptuous and beautiful. Michelle, Kathy and cast were lucky to have the privilege of living in such beauty, even if only for a little while. Aside from the unconvincing performances by both Kathy and Michelle, the actual story was superficial and trivial. I have not read the book Cheri by Colette and so can’t really compare the two in terms of depth of story and environment; however the era of the famous salons of France was exceptional in their pursuit of intellegence, ideas, enlightenment, and liberty. This attitude formed the backbone of the liberties with which these women lived their lives as courtesans. To gain popularity and stature in this community, women needed to have intelligence and the ability to hold ones end in a debate on sophisticated social issues. There was absolutely none of this in this movie. Such a missed opportunity.

I can only think that this movie would have been so much better in the French language, and indeed made by the French themselves. They must cringe at this English language portrayal.


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