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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic, for those who love Honoré's movies
Let's get the hard part out of the way: if your taste runs toward Hollywood blockbusters, don't waste your time watching Beloved and our time reading about how much you hate it. It's a very serious, complex, slow-moving (almost 2½ hours long, with no more than ten seconds of action), lyrical movie about messed up people who break into song at nearly every opportunity; and...
Published 19 months ago by J. Martin

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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars (too) sophisticated pleasures
As so often with Honoré films, this musical grows on you as the pleasure of recognising the songs adds to the experience. However fans of Les chansons d'amour are likely to find this one not quite as successful. The main difference is that it is much more diffuse, ranging from the sixties up to the present, and going all over the place geographically - Paris,...
Published on 30 May 2012 by schumann_bg


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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars (too) sophisticated pleasures, 30 May 2012
By 
schumann_bg - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Beloved [DVD] (DVD)
As so often with Honoré films, this musical grows on you as the pleasure of recognising the songs adds to the experience. However fans of Les chansons d'amour are likely to find this one not quite as successful. The main difference is that it is much more diffuse, ranging from the sixties up to the present, and going all over the place geographically - Paris, Prague, London, Montreal, Reims, with more Paris in between. The subjects are very similar - families, romance, sudden death, the sadness and carrying on anyway, all given a light, fleeting feel. This is the problem, because it ends up being quite superficial, in spite of some star turns. Some moments are certainly charming, but overall it doesn't really succeed. I had wanted to like it because of Catherine Deneuve and Chiara Mastroianni; also because I like Honoré in general, and I feel French cinema is going through a bad patch, with hardly anyone producing work of quality. Ozon is really the only one to make reliably good films , and even his work isn't quite up there with the best of Louis Malle, say, or Eric Rohmer, except possibly for the early shorts. But really, Beloved is good only for the chance to see Deneuve sing in the present day, and the last song is poignant, but the film drags a lot leading up to it. For Honore at his best, Les Chansons d'amour and Homme au bain are the most interesting, along with Ma Mere, although the latter is certainly quite offputting too.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic, for those who love Honoré's movies, 14 Dec 2012
By 
J. Martin (New York) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Beloved [DVD] (DVD)
Let's get the hard part out of the way: if your taste runs toward Hollywood blockbusters, don't waste your time watching Beloved and our time reading about how much you hate it. It's a very serious, complex, slow-moving (almost 2½ hours long, with no more than ten seconds of action), lyrical movie about messed up people who break into song at nearly every opportunity; and they're not typical American show tunes, or hip-hop, or rock in any form at all. Even when some of the lyrics are in English, the songs sound French, and I'm sure to 80% of American ears they all sound the same. Unless that prospect intrigues you, or you're already a Christophe Honoré fan, look elsewhere. You won't like this movie. You'll probably hate this movie. You've been warned - you have no excuse now for watching it and then telling us all how much you hate it.

Now for the easy part, because now I'm talking to people who either already love Christophe Honoré's movies or are open-minded and curious enough to give them a shot. Beloved (thank God they've set that wonderful title free from Oprah's maudlin clutches) fits perfectly in line after his marvelous Chansons D'Amour (Love Songs) and haunting Beautiful Person. Each movie in that trio is more complex than the last, and each one is better than almost any movie made by anybody else. Love Songs, especially, has continued to send unexpected waves of joy rolling my way since I first watched it (I just realized) exactly three years ago today.

Love Songs is special to me in part because the core relationship in it is between two men (I'm gay), and it's probably the sexiest, most beautifully realized gay relationship I've ever seen in a movie. One of the leads in Beloved is gay, but none of the core relationships (there are several - as I said, it's more complex) in this movie is gay. I thought that would be a turn-off, but it's not, and here's why: Chiara Mastroianni.

I've seen Mastroianni before (she has a supporting role in Love Songs), and I've even seen her act with her mother (Catherine Deneuve) before, in André Téchiné's My Favorite Season nearly 20 years ago. I've never seen her carry a whole movie before, as she does this one - and she's fantastic.

She and the gay man connect, sort of - as much as any two people in this complicated movie connect. Normally I'd really hate that, because I'm so sick of gay men in movies hooking up with women I could pull my hair out. But she's so good in this movie - her Véra is such an appealing and interesting character - that I don't mind. Getting to see how good SHE (Mastroianni) is is worth it.

The rest of the cast is great too. Deneuve gets earthier and more accessible every time I see her, which is good because I couldn't stand the Ice Princess she played for the first several decades of her long career. Either she's opened up a lot in the last 15 years or so or directors are finally discovering how good she is playing other kinds of roles.

Louis Garrel, Ludivine Sagnier (both also in Love Songs), Paul Schneider (an American actor I'd never seen before), and Czech director Milos Forman in an acting role for the first time that I've seen - all are very good.

But the star of any Christophe Honoré movie, for me, is Christophe Honoré himself. He takes conventional movie elements - comedy, drama, romance, character study, music, song and others - and weaves them together in fresh and unconventional ways that yet never seem forced or precocious. I wouldn't try to explain anything he does because I wouldn't know how to. All I know to do with his movies is relax, let go, and let him take me for a ride. It's always worth the risk.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Deneuve!, 3 Feb 2014
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This review is from: Beloved [DVD] (DVD)
A silly vehicle, in my view, for such great talents. Deneuve, as always, is stunning. Otherwise a disappointment. A pity!
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1.0 out of 5 stars sad use of great talent, film totally lacked coherence, 28 May 2014
This review is from: Beloved (DVD)
Why does deneuve have to appear in this type of awful film? In her early career she was brilliant, but if she has now to compromise her talent in this way (and ditto her daughter!) perhaps she should retire with her millions and do something more valuable. I wish she had stopped making films while she was still winning. The film seemed utterly pointless, totally lacked coherence, and was just a vehicle for some sexy scenes. Fine with second rate actors, not with the calibre of Deneuve. Mastroianni is surely capable of more subtle roles?
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely acting, 18 Oct 2013
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This review is from: Beloved [DVD] (DVD)
Enjoyed this film. Good story kept me interested,and good looking actors to watch.All boxes ticked and would recommend story lovers
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Beloved [DVD]
Beloved [DVD] by Christophe Honoré (DVD - 2012)
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