Nathalie... review

Only in France would a woman have more fun talking about sex than actually having it. That's the gimmick in Anne Fontaine's dull psychological drama, in which a betrayed wife hires a prostitute to be her cheating husband's new lover.

Having engineered an introduction between Marlène (Emmanuelle Béart) and Bernard (Gérard Depardieu), Catherine (Fanny Ardant) is shocked when the young tart brings back lurid reports of shocking sexual intimacy. It soon becomes clear this bourgeois housewife is getting off on these carnal admissions. But is Marlene - - rechristened `Nathalie' by her female Svengali - - embroidering the truth? It's not much to hang an entire film on and though Fontaine has assembled a classy cast, her garrulous, pretentious script does them few favours. This is particularly true of Depardieu, an obscure object of desire who wafts around the sidelines looking glum and bored. It's not hard to empathise with him.


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