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Manipulative aristocrats John Malkovich and Glenn Close engage in sexual conquest and gender warfare beneath the outward formality and respectability of 18th century France. Valmont was the part that propelled Malkovich into the big leagues and is the part he was born to play. He treads the line perfectly between caddishness and charm as he seduces and beds every woman he encounters for the thrill of the chase, and shows great skill and subtlety in making such a despicable and morally weak character sympathetic toward the end of the film. All the best scenes are of course concerned with the verbal sparring between Valmont and the bitter and calculating Marquise played with equal skill by Close, but Michelle Pfeiffer's sensitive performance and porcelain beauty also paint a believable picture of a woman who would melt the heart of even such a cold-hearted Casanova. The direction is a little flat belying its roots as a stage play and the cinematography a little drab by today's standards, but the witty and perceptive script and excellent performances by the three leads make it well worth a look even for those not enamoured by period drama.
- garyX, Thursday, April 2, 2009
Not as good as I thought. Didn't know that John Malkovic used to be good looking. I prefer the modern version, Cruel Intention.
- citawijaya, Sunday, October 5, 2008