Emmanuelle, a svelte,naive young woman, is en route to Bangkok where she'll join her new husband. He works for the French Embassy and has a lovely home, several dedicated servants, and an expensive car at his disposal. Once Emmanuelle arrives, her husband and a few friends introduce her to a realm of sexual ecstasy she'd never imagined.
Told in flashback, this film follows the collision and decade-long duel between a guarded lawyer and an impulsively charismatic restaurateur.
2016-08-11 | JEANNETTE CATSOULIS | Read the New York Times Review of My King
This loopy, luscious extravaganza of 50's-vintage couture and timeless French actresses aspires to be at once a camp artifact and an object of camp. It is at once a claustrophobic murder mystery, a musical, a serial cat-fight that makes Clare Booth Luce's "Women" look tame, and a parody of all of those things. François Ozon pays tribute to a cinematic tradition of triumph and humiliation, conjuring Max Ophuls, Luis Bunuel, Rainier Werner Fassbinder and Douglas Sirk without slipping from his own elegant, rigorous style. The members of the cast, playing a dysfunctional extended family whose patriarch, the only man in the picture, has been murdered, strive to outdo each other in glamour, pathos and ridiculousness. Catherine Deneuve and Fanny Ardant fight to a draw — quite literally, in a wrestling match that ends in a kiss. — A. O. Scott
2002-09-20 | A. O. Scott | Read the New York Times Review of 8 Women
Carla Bhem (Emmanuelle Devos), the heroine of Jacques Audiard's thriller, is plain and almost hyperbolically nondescript. She is a person who exists to be taken advantage of and ignored. Worrying that she might be overworked, Carla's boss allows her to take on a helper to handle some of the endless drudgery. She hires Paul Angeli (Vincent Cassel), a mopey ex-convict with no qualifications, who is unlikely to threaten her position, such as it is. The two are soon embroiled in a psychological power struggle that threatens, oddly but convincingly, to turn into an office romance. Then, in its second half, "Read My Lips" mutates almost casually from a workplace comedy into a violent, clammy caper film. Like so many European pictures these days, "Read My Lips" seems destined to be remade in Hollywood, and it is unlikely to be improved by the addition of vainer actors, a simpler screenplay and flashier direction. — A. O. Scott
2002-07-05 | A. O. Scott | Read the New York Times Review of Read My Lips