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La Belle Noiseuse [DVD] 
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Young artist Nicolas and his writer mistress Marianne meet a famous painter, Frenhofer, who is persuaded to start work again on a long abandoned picture for which Marianne agrees to model. As a relationship blossoms between the tyrannical genius and his young muse, tensions develop between the young couple and Frenhofer and his wife. By the time the masterpiece is completed, all four lives are irreversibly altered.
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Top Customer Reviews
I saw La Belle Noiseuse at cinema when it came out & thought it a very clichéd view of artist and muse, the whole thing almost a parody of French art house movies. But watching the DVD has changed my opinion.
Having seen a few Rivette's recently I now understand how he sets up a deliberately theatrical situation, a conceit, out of which improvisation evolves. This film is actually about time, ageing, death - themes manifested in the pace of the film, which is slow but shifting & always intriguing. The artist & muse angle is really about how we secretly see our lives as obsessive "projects" working towards something mysterious (involving love). The central relationship is not genius artist & beautiful muse but ageing husband & wife - Jane Birkin steals the film with an incredible performance & Piccoli's performance is more complex/sympathetic that it might initially seem. With all due respect to the bravery of Beart's performance I still think her character (& boyfriend) superficial.
Basically, if you are allergic to long slow French movies avoid this, but if are an old school French film fan then this is a latter-day classic & well worth getting on DVD.
Now Frenhofer decides to try again with a new model, Marianne (Emmanuelle Béart), the girlfriend of a young painter, Nicolas (David Bursztein), who has come to visit the old master. Marianne is nagged by a sense of dependence on Nicolas and by a half-conscious urge to break free from the feeling of leading a shadow existence. Posing for Frenhofer seems to offer some kind of opportunity, although her irritation is increased by the fact that Nicolas has taken it upon himself to arrange this with Frenhofer without asking her. However, after a somewhat tense beginning she becomes more and more engaged in the project, especially when she realizes that Frenhofer is little more master of the situation than she herself is, and that the success of their collaboration depends on her as well as on him.Read more ›
That is the problem Edouard Frenhofer (Michel Piccoli) faced, when he had to choose between his art and his wife. Frenhofer, an extremely famous artist, decided to stop painting a portrait called "La Belle Noiseuse", because he knew that his model, his wife Liz (Jane Birkin), would hate the results. According to Liz, "He wanted to paint me because he loved me. He stopped painting me because he loved me".
Many years later, Frenhofer gets another chance to finish his painting, thanks to the visit of an admirer, a young painter named Nicolas (David Bursztein). Nicolas suggests that his beautiful girlfriend, Marianne (Emmanuelle Béart), could be the new nude model for "La Belle Noiseuse". Frenhofer loves the idea, as does Liz. Even Marianne, mad at first at Nicolas for his suggestion, ends up embracing the challenge. However, as days go by and Frenhofer and Marianne become immersed in a world of their own, Nicolas and Liz start to feel restless, abandoned. They know that the new painting will make a difference, and that things will never be the same between them and their loved ones. But can they do something? And will it be enough?
Of course, the answers to those questions don't really matter, and you will discover them soon enough if you watch this film.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Do you enjoy watching paint dry? Or are you interested in looking at a naked beautiful French lady (Emmanuelle Beart) for 4 hours? Read morePublished on 11 Dec. 2014 by Billy Ray Cyrus
because it is beautiful, but i felt it too simple taking even its production time and everything in consideration - something was missing in it... Read morePublished on 20 Nov. 2013 by iveta karklina-viksne
The viewer must enter the rhythm of the film - slow and intense.
Brilliant performance fom, Piccoli, Béart and Birkin.
I notice the word 'pretentious' bandied about in other reviews, not to mention the word 'long'. I suppose the latter depends on how much time and concentration you're prepared to... Read morePublished on 3 Jun. 2012 by KaleHawkwood
Everywere you can read many of reviews of this masterwork in more technical and beloved words than i cout .
My suggestion the best long picture for a rainy day.
I'd seen this movie years ago on C4 and had always wanted a copy and when I saw it here at such a great price I jumped at the chance. Read morePublished on 4 Mar. 2010 by D. E. Eyles
This is a beautiful and inspiring film. Not least is the physical beauty of the actress, which is erotic, and yet surpasses the erotic into pure physical and spiritual beauty.Published on 27 Feb. 2010 by Tinkerbell
Yes, it lasts for ages, but this is an engaging piece of cinema.
An aging artist has lost his inspiration until Emannuelle Beart shows up and inspires him to attempt to... Read more