Sex and sunlight are on ample display in Betty Blue
, director Jean-Jacques Beineix's passionate look at mad love. (Every French director is contractually required to make at least one movie about l'amour fou.)
It begins at the seashore, where handyman and failed novelist Zorg (Jean-Hugues Anglade) has his life electrified by Betty, a woman whose sense of abandon frequently tips over into the pathological. This was the role that introduced gap-toothed, voluptuous Beatrice Dalle to the world, and neither Dalle nor the world has ever quite recovered. Traces of Beineix's precious Diva are still present, though this is a darker and more memorable ride, especially in the three-hour "version integrale" that restores an hour of footage. Its copious nude scenes are a drawing card, but stick around for the age-old alchemy of life translated into art. Gabriel Yared's score is a favourite of movie-soundtrack mavens, especially its haunting piano theme.-- Robert Horton
Betty (Beatrice Dalle) and Zorg (Jean-Hugues Anglade) have a passionate, if somewhat unconventional relationship. When she discovers his half-written novel she burns his house down and forces him to go to Paris with her in search of fame. There they team up with another couple, who run a pizza joint, before moving south, where Betty begins her tragic demise into madness and eventual death.