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Wick's Review

Created May 19, 2012 09:10PM PST • Edited Dec 09, 2018 07:22PM PST

  1. Quality
  2. Really Great 4.5

    Five big-names starring in “the best period film”1 make Steven Frears’ Dangerous Liaisons really great. Frears, he of The Queen, employs Michelle Pfeiffer, Glen Close, a nubile Uma Thurmond and a horny John Malkovich in bringing Christopher Hampton’s Tony nominated play to the screen. Pedigree? Check.

    The French Aristocracy of the Ancien Régime just before the French Revolution were the actual 1%ers. Class meant something back then. We Americans hardly know and never cottoned to class limitations. No wonder we’re more successful than any other nation. The aristocratic French however had 1,000 peons supporting each aristocrat. Dangerous Liaisons employs a quartet of Americans as 4 of those aristocrats.

    The fantastic – albeit Franco-free – cast adorn an extraordinary film, really great. Orchestral, operatic and opulent, it pegs the luxometer. Unctuously luxurious, you might say.

    Dangerous Liaisons dramatizes a French romantic plot gone too far, even for Parisians. An immorality tale, it’s a fable about how when insouciance is affordable at the highest reaches of luxury, watch out below.

    1 EJ on Dangerous Liaisons

  3. Really Great 4.5

    Five big-name stars are featured. Four are outstanding. The three actresses are major movie stars, with Dangerous Liaisons a jewel in each of their crowns. One of the two leading men fulfills his destiny, the other kinda looks the part. IOW, four of five are terrific. The fifth? Keanu Reeves. Of course.

    Malkovich gets his full Jagger on as Valmont – chic cad. His lips are more red than Michelle Pfeiffer’s in one scene. Just saying. A real-life social vampire, he actually hisses at one point. Really.

    Speaking of the first lady of 80s & 90s cinema, Michelle Pfeiffer is extraordinarily deep and beautiful … making her the ideal conquest for Malkovich’s Valmont.

    Uma Thurmond, barely 18 at the time, fairly bursts out of her dress and then her nightie, having gotten instructions from Glenn Close’s witchy older woman. Glenn’s role is often in the mirror. Amazing actress.

    The three female stars display bodacious talent and décolletage, French fashion being what it is.

  4. Male Stars Perfect 5.0
  5. Female Stars Perfect 5.0
  6. Female Costars Great 4.0
  7. Male Costars OK 2.5
  8. Really Great 4.5

    “So I should hope,” is a great line and one that stays this side of the overly-affected.

  9. Direction Perfect 5.0
  10. Play Great 4.0

    Marie-Antoinette loved the novel. Marie-Antoinette herself. You can look it up. Now there’s a feminine icon for you.

  11. Music Really Great 4.5
  12. Visuals Perfect 5.0
  13. Content
  14. Sordid 2.7

    Well earns its 2.7 powered Sordid rating. Eroticism well past 3, modest violence and high-toned profanity.

    I like a movie where the edginess is driven more by the sex and rudeness than by the violence.

    Dangerous Liaisons scores.

  15. Sex Erotic 3.2
  16. Violence Fierce 2.1
  17. Rudeness Profane 2.7
  18. Glib 1.1

    Hereditary class structures are personally limiting and societally stultifying. Thus an examination of Old Europe’s royally Rich Class fascinates, especially given the contrast it sheds on the American Experience.

    America was and is different from royally-based societies, never mind the Occupy Movement’s assertions that today’s American rich form a class of permanent 1%ers. It will only take this so-called Rich Class a generation for the fools among them to lose their money and therefore their class. This being America, they’ll be more than replaced by a new generation of upwardly mobile success stories.

    That’s how we’ve done it for three centuries now. It’s not that we’re classless. It’s that we’re mobile between classes. We don’t occupy them. We move among them.

    Much, much more could be written about Dangerous Liaisons’ reality reflections. A book’s worth.
    But not here.

  19. Circumstantial Glib 1.4
  20. Biological Natural 1.0
  21. Physical Natural 1.0


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