Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Betty Blue |
Unrated Director's Cut
Actors: Jean-Hugues Anglade, Béatrice Dalle, Gérard Darmon, Consuelo De Haviland, Clémentine Célarié
Genres: Indie & Art House, Comedy, Drama
Zorg lives a quiet and peaceful life, working diligently and writing in his spare time. Until Betty walks into his life, a young woman who is as beautiful as she is wild and unpredictable. When Betty's wild manners start t... more »
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Two haunting performances say it all.
D. Mok | Los Angeles, CA | 01/29/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Betty Blue is touted as an "erotic drama" by the distributor, a tag which sells the film grossly short. It certainly has frank depictions of sexuality and much nudity -- after all, this is a film that opens on a real-time extended sequence shot of two people having sex -- but to call this erotica is to miss the complete picture.
Betty Blue is an organic look at a troubled relationship in all its glory and ugliness, tenderness and violence, joys and sorrows, made possible by the director's sympathetic and unembarrassed eye, and the sheer dedication of lead actors Jean-Hugues Anglade and Beatrice Dalle. Seldom has a cinematic couple been better paired, and seldom with so much chemistry. Dalle conveys a world of psychological complexity in her face, her eyes seeming to shift with her inner beats. Dalle received the bulk of the attention for this, her breakthrough role, so it might be easy to overlook Jean-Hugues Anglade, a fantastic actor who's every bit as good as Gerard Depardieu, perhaps even half a notch above Jean Reno. In reality, he is the anchor for the film's wrenching emotional journey. When Zorg plays the piano theme for Betty, easily the loveliest scene in the film, Anglade's eyes seem to dance, and the actors say more with their looks during their moments together than all the sex scenes in the world. Thanks to the deft direction, all those nude scenes don't seem like titillation -- merely an illuminating fly-on-the-wall view into the relationship. This couple certainly seems like the type who would be comfortable being naked around each other, and those scenes create a sense of genuine intimacy, rather than intent to arouse.
If there's one thing this film does well, it is the mixture of comedic and tragic scenes which makes it seem such a complete picture. Betty is not always wild and uncontrolled; Zorg is not always patient and loving. They are two flawed characters, made all the more likeable because of their flaws, and their interactions make us laugh, smile in understanding, frown, and cry.
This extended edition makes the film far better. It's been about 10 years since I last saw it so I can't make very specific comparisons. But the restored scenes are substantial, not cosmetic addition of shots, but an explosion of the story, and while I can't name too many specifics, as a whole this version just feels more right, more natural, and more emotional.
Look beyond the film's "erotic" reputation and find a character study, and a portrayal of a relationship, which is as moving as any I've seen.
You've GOT to see this film!
N. A. Prianti | Atlanta, GA | 08/19/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you like foreign films, or films that make you think about them long after you have see them, then you must see this film. I had rented it on VHS years ago on the advice of a British friend, who said it had the sexiest opening sequence ever filmed. Well, I wasn't bowled over by the opening, but the film was brilliant. Then a few years later the Museum of Modern Art in Manhattan was screening the uncut version of this film, with an hour restored to the film. After seeing that, I couldn't imagine why someone chose to cut that hour out. The film really needs that extra hour of the story to flesh it out (no pun).
Rent this as soon as your local video store has it. You'll probably be buying it soon thereafter."
N. A. Prianti | 02/22/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"There's something so entrancing about this film. It takes you into its world, a world of passion and spontaneity, love and madness. Even though it's not the most brilliantly written film, it is just utterly captivating. It stayed with me for days after the first time I saw it. I saw the director's cut before I watched the original version. When I watched the much shorter original, I felt cheated of experiencing some of Betty and Zorg's life. It is still a good movie in its original form, but the director's cut seems more complete. If you can't get enough of this movie, make sure you see the long version too."
'L' amour in All it's Tragedy and Beauty
M. J. Dirou | Australia | 12/28/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"'Betty Blue', the movie that, as one reviewer put it,' sent shock waves rippling through arthouse cinemas everywhere' and introduced unforgettable 'Beatrice Dalle', a sort of modern day (though far wilder) 'Bardot', with an even more generous mouth. Who else but the French could pull off a film like this with such depth and style. An exploration of L'amour in all its beautiful and tragic complexities. Certainly to the faint hearted it may have seemed a little shocking. There is plenty of of full frontal nudity, both male and female (unlike the double standard in American cinema), and a very realistic sex scene to confront audiences in the very opening scene. But the erotica in this movie is really very natural with nothing perverse or kinky about it. It has an uninhibited earthiness about it that we have come to expect from French Movies. To others what may have seemed more shocking was the rather dark and depressing nature of the story, (if you haven't seen this movie don't go looking for a happy ending).
Director 'Jean-Jacques Beineix', in an article I read, said something like: that he dedicated this film to a generation of French Cinema watchers, who still believed in perfect love but knew it couldn't last. This indeed seems to be the underlying theme of the film, that young love and passion can't last, something has to kill it, you want to preserve it in time like a beautiful photograph or picture, before it withers or tarnishes. The sense of impending doom that hangs over Betty and Zorg's passionate and beautiful love affair, is present from the beginning.
The early part of the film is light and hopeful. When we initially meet 'Betty and Zorg'(who have recently began their love affair); she arrives, suitcase in hand, on his doorstep unexpectedly, where he lives in a sort of dreamlike,rundown, seaside shanty town, ready to move in. The scenes shot here are bathed in sunlight, clear blue skies and vibrant colours, to match the more hopeful mood. World weary 'Zorg', who seems content with his very basic existence, has his life quickly turned upside down by the younger free spirited and emotionally volatile, Betty. A beautiful raven haired, typically pouting and provocative French sex kittenish type. Betty soon discovers a secret collection of Zorg's writings, and becomes convinced he has the makings of a great author. The modest and more cynically realistic 'Zorg' is not so convinced. After being led by Betty to abandon their simple digs( in suitable reckless 'Betty' style) with the hope of finding publishing success and a better life in the city, Zorg and Betty embark on a rollercoaster journey that soon descends into much darker,gloomier territory. With each set back Betty becomes ever more disenchanted and emotionally unstable, and we discover, though the film never attempts to explain why, that she is infact a very disturbed young woman.
The film 'Betty Blue' has a very artistic,lyrical and poetic quality about it. Visually beautiful with one of the most hauntingly exquisite musical scores I have ever heard. It is one of those foreign arthouse movies that inevitably has now received cult status. There are many aspects of this film which you could easlily find fault in. The story(and characters)seem completely irrational and unbelievable at times. But the artistic cinematography,the unforgettable music of 'Gabriel Yared' and moving performances of Jean- Hughes Anglade (as the tenderly patient and understanding, though often bewildered,'Zorg')and Dalle as (as the audacious,strikingly sexy but unstable 'Betty'),all make this film standout. It's a love story as moving in its tragedy as it is in its passion and beauty, you feel so completely the very true and deep love Zorg has for Betty especially, she drives him to the brink with her behaviour, yet in a way re-ignites a spark in him and passion that was buried, through her love and belief in him. I must admit it touches the hopeless romantic in me, a cinema enthusiast, who also wants to believe in true and 'perfect love', forever preserved in time and memory."