Directed by Anne Fontaine
France / Spain 2003

 

  Nathalie (Emmanuelle Béart) is the name a Parisian prostitute assumes for a special mission or "private investigation." She is engaged for this unusual, and secretive task by a professional, upper middle class wife (Fanny Ardant) who fears her husband (Gérard Depardieu) is unfaithful to her. Nathalie has to seduce the clueless husband and regularly report all details of her relationship with him, including his most intimate sexual preferences in bed. Nathalie is stunning, charming and cunning. Can Nathalie and her reports to the mistrustful wife be trusted? Is the middle aged husband indeed unfaithful?

***

Awash in juicy, erotic melodrama but bearing one all-too-obvious plot twist, Anne Fontaine's psychological drama nonetheless provides a glimpse of two generations of French actresses at the top of their game. To think of Nathalie... as 8 Women divided by four would be somewhat misleading: Though it stars two of the duplicitous principals from Francois Ozon's campy 2002 mystery, the tone of this pairing is deathly serious, which makes the script's erotic element all the more believable, but makes its so-what conclusion even more apparent. Writer Philippe Blasband keeps his plot as simple as that of his breakthrough feature, the teasing, enigmatic Une Liason Pornographique, but the questions left unanswered in that film are mostly spelled out here; and although the dynamic between Fanny Ardant and Emmanuelle Béart is never less than fascinating, it does grow repetitive and increasingly less mysterious as Nathalie... progresses. It's rare that a film can generate carnal heat solely through its dialogue, and Ardant and Béart are more than up to the challenge of performing it -- but a breather or two of humor would've gone a long way in making Fontaine's film more believable.

Excerpt from Michael Hastings, All Movie Guide located HERE

 

Posters

Theatrical Release: September 11th, 2003 - Toronto Film Festival

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DVD Review: Koch Lorber Films - Region 1 - NTSC

DVD Box Cover

   

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The Koch Lorber is a direct unconverted port of the Studio Canal R2 PAL, which does have removable English subtitles, edition available here:

Distribution Koch Lorber Films - Region 1 - NTSC
Runtime 1:40:51 
Video 2.35:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.99 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

Audio French (Dolby Digital 5.1) 
Subtitles English, None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Koch Lorber Films

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1

Edition Details:

• 'Making of...' Featurette (28:24)
• Studio Canal trailer

DVD Release Date: May 2nd, 2006

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Chapters: 20

 

 

Comments:

This is a direct port of the Region 2 PAL Studio Canal DVD available HERE (which DOES have English subtitles). Koch Lorber have not bothered to convert to NTSC first and hence there are fine 'combing' and 'ghosting' instances that frankly are not too detrimental to viewing (see last capture), depending on your system. They will probably be unnoticeable on CRT (cathode ray tube) viewing. Colors, contrast, detail are all quite acceptable on this anamorphic, progressive DVD. The 'Making of...' featurette is NOT subtitled in English (language is French) and the menus are in French. I am led to believe Koch/Seville did absolutely nothing to this DVD - and it is a direct port. This is not acceptable as far as I am concerned and I encourage those interested in the film to purchase the Studio Canal edition if they are capable of playing Region 2 PAL discs on their systems. 

The film is quite sexy, or should I say Emmanuelle Béart is her usual self, but it does not deviate from the focus of the film which is a benefit to the narrative. The more salacious aspects are not over-utilized. Many might consider it typically French - meaning the type of cinema that the French do so well - and I would agree. I find myself warming quite nicely to Anne Fontaine's work and hope to see more of it soon.

Gary W. Tooze

 





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Artifacts associated with an unconverted PAL -> NTSC port...
 

 


DVD Box Cover

   

CLICK to order from:

The Koch Lorber is a direct unconverted port of the Studio Canal R2 PAL, which does have removable English subtitles, edition available here:

Distribution Koch Lorber Films - Region 1 - NTSC




 

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   CANADA

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