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4.0 out of 5 stars34
4.0 out of 5 stars
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on 10 July 2008
Both "Valmont" and "Dangerous Liasons" are fabulous films. I personally prefer "Valmont". The casting for this film is fantastic. Colin Firth makes a much more charming and handsome `Valmont' who knows how to use the 'art of seduction' to his advantage. Annette Benning is a scheming and beautiful `de Merteuil'. The mood of this film is more feel-good than 'Dangerous Liasons'; it contains more playful humour and the imagery (especially in the outdoors) is amazing. With `Dangerous Liasons'; the characters (played by Glenn Close and John Malkovich) were more sinister and less likeable (I guess it depends what mood you're in). Overall: Highly recommended.
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on 19 February 2009
One of my favourite films and one of Colin Firth's best films along with 'The Hour of The Pig' and 'Pride & Prejudice'. This is a Valmont you can believe seduces for a hobby, being charm personified, who learns too late what love is and ends up hurting himself the most. The gorgeous costumes, outdoor scenes, palacial interiors (including the Chapel Royal) and French courtly dances he performs with the adoring ladies are fascinating. Superb supporting cast. Some witty repartee and comic scenes with his valet interject the 'dangerous liaisons' main storyline and a surprise ending concludes the film in a satisfying way.
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on 6 December 2009
This is not a movie cast in terms of 'the american movie product' with all its clichés and star personality enhancements regardless of story lines. This is beautiful ensemble playing of a series of intriguing events through its orchestration by a superb european director. It has the right european feel and the right european contexts - and in spite of the american actors - retains a definite european integrity. Aesthetically it absolutely cannot be faulted - it is a feast for the eyes throughout. I think the final resolution leaves a little to be desired, but the film certainly maintains its integrity to its comic/tragic ending. All the performances are brilliant in their own ways though I have never seen Annette Bening as glitteringly exquisite as in this movie. And if perhaps at first Colin Firth's performance might appear somewhat stolid, it therefore manages all the better to contrive his camouflage as a seriously dangerous seducer.
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on 17 November 2015
This is a totally different interpretation of the 'Liaisons dangereuses' novel. There is less detail in the events and dialogue; the atmosphere is more relaxed and homely, less intense; the structure more open not claustrophobic.
The plot focuses on Valmont and he is played believably by Firth as an imperfect young man, not a sex machine on legs.
Mertuil is shown as a much more tender, capricious figure than we see in the more popular 'Dangerous Liaisons'. Neither she nor Valmont seem like monsters or secret prostitutes; only weak ammoral humans who get hoist by their own petards.
We see Merteuil first as a social figure kind, happy, trusted and young. She is dumped by her lover and this triggers her lust for revenge; the relationship with Valmont is played down. He falls in love at his aunt's chateau - Lovely to see Gabrielle Drake in a very rare appearance [Love her voice] as the ever so slightly confused aunt.
I found that the story line got lost as the denouement approached. Why Valmont went to duel as he did is not clear. What happened to the disgraced married lover he was in love with is also not clear - though plainly she survives what is here shown as a very open and torrid affair. And the disgrace of Merteuil is certainly underplayed.
Despite excellent costumes - though Merteuil in several scenes wore the same outfit - hardly extravagant! - and a delightfully french 18th century feel to the photography and scene setting - the film left me dissatisfied. It was certainly created with intelligence and real thought but I suspect that the writers were not able to hold together the complexity of the relationships.
But definitely worth seeing and enjoying!
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on 6 April 2009
This is Milos Forman's under-rated film version of 'Les Liaisons Dangereuse', and although it may seem less stylish than the more successful film released at the same time, it has more emotional truth and impact. In particular, Meg Tilly's wonderful portrayal of a woman at once appalled and attracted by a bad man, remains memorable.
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on 28 February 2014
Exactly the same topic as Dangerous Liaisons but, somehow this version capture's the lasciviousness of the age and its vulnerable characters better.
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on 11 January 2013
Loved it for the historical setting, reconstruction and details and great performance by the whole cast. I find it even superior to "Les Liaisons Dangereuses" that I also loved.
Recommended to all who love literature and costume movies. Excellent soundtrack too.
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on 23 August 2013
I enjoyed watching this film it's very good and was well portrayed anyone that likes watching period drama would find it interesting and educational and the history behind of the story of the film
Elizabeth
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on 11 February 2015
This film shows what a professional, sensually-charasmatic, actor Colin Firth is - he plays Valmont excellently, for me he brings a softer, truer depth to his charactor than that portrayed in Dangerous Liaisons (another version of the same story).
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This lavish retelling of Les Liaisons Dangereuses stars Annette Benning as the Marquise de Merteuil, a nasty aristocrat who delights in manipulating those around her. She is outraged when her lover makes plans to marry the young and virtuous Cecile,(who is in love with her music teacher), so she engages the services of the notorious playboy the Vicomte de Valmont to cuckold him. Before he can do it, however, Valmont falls in love with a proper, married woman, Madame de Tourvel. Learning of this, Merteuil bets Valmont that he can't bed Tourvel, and he happily takes up the challenge.

The plot was so complex that I needed a scorecard to keep straight who was doing what to whom and why. All the action swirls around Benning's Merteuil and she's malicious and flirty enough, but her American accent detracts from her character. In fact, the array of American and British accents and their 21st century delivery spoil the illusion that the story is set in 18th century France. As Valmont, Colin Firth is definite eye-candy but not nearly lecherous enough; he's boyish and pitiable instead of cunning and ruthless. Meg Tilley (Tourvel) and Henry Thomas (the music teacher) are unbelievably bland and look out of place in a period piece.

On the plus side, the Oscar-nominated costumes are breathtakingly opulent and the palatial sets and locations are flawless. It's the actors that keep the movie from being really good; they're more common than genteel and I didn't believe any of them. 3.5 stars.
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