Nominated For 7 CÚsar Awards Including: Best Film, Best Actor, Best Director, and Best ScreenplayIn this acclaimed masterpiece from Oscar(r) nominated writer/director Patrice Leconte (RIDICULE, THE PERFUME OF YVONNE), lege... more »ndary French actor Jean Rochefort (MAN ON THE TRAIN) stars as an older man whose childhood sexual obsession with a local hairdresser leads him one day to the shop of beautiful young Mathilde (Anna Galiena). What follows is a romance of ultimate sensual devotion, where love will walk the line between physical pleasure and eternal desire. Anne-Marie Pisani (DELICATESSEN) co-stars in this uncommon erotic classic that DVD Savant hails as "one of the most remarkable and affecting love stories ever told!"EXTRAS:
"Leconte on Leconte Part 1" - Featurette with Director Patrice Leconte
"The Hairdresser's Recollections" - Featurette with Star Anna Galiena« less
"I knew of Patrice Leconte through "Monsieur Hire" but nothing prepared me for this absolute, mysterious masterpiece. The thing I loved most about this film was the characters' apparent lack of motivation and the unreality that pervaded every frame of the movie. Actually, the characters aren't all that mysterious once you realize that they are acting spontaneously, in response to deeply felt emotional promptings,instead of exhibiting the typical calculated responses of Americans, who usually derive their sense of self-worth and their notions of what is desirable from the television world of George Clooney et al. See, Leconte says, you can actually live spontaneously and authentically, even break out into dancing for no apparent reason. And the fact that life is so capricious, so filled with the tragic and unexpected (the suicide of Mathilde) makes it even more imperative that we live fully in the moment, honoring our truest feelings and deepest desires.
An extension of this was the typically Gallic celebration of "inappropriate" love. Rather than extolling the quotidian in matters of the heart, the French (and other Europeans) constantly remind us that there is in fact no quotidian--that love is often an unequal alliance between people of different ages and backgrounds who come together for no discernible reason and fulfill each other according to no defensible plan in the brief time that is theirs.
If this film leaves you scratching your head, it won't fail to amaze you with its beautiful cinematography and hypnotic editing. The hair-cutting scenes are some of the most sensual in the history of cinema, especially those in which there is no overt sexual tension.
Is It Love or Obsession?
V. Marshall | North Fork, CA USA | 08/04/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The French certainly know how to film a sensuous romantic tale without an ounce of vulgarity. This film is a beautiful tribute about a young boy growing up with an obsession for hairdressers. It is often funny, sexy, and even sad but woven together masterfully into a striking film.
Jean Rochefort plays the man who recounts his life story as it pertains to his love affair with women hairdressers. He begins the story developing a crush upon an older robust woman who cuts his hair. As a grown man he falls in love with a beautiful woman who holds a life of mystery but he marries her without question and never seems to see any faults within her. Rochefort represents either a man in complete and blinding love or an obsessive pervert depending on how you look at him. He is tender and loving but also pretty close to stalking material! His best scenes are also his funniest when he dances to Arabic music and tries to mesmerize little boys into getting their haircuts without fussing.
The woman who plays the "hairdresser" is Anna Galiena, an absolute beauty who is seductive and troubled. She holds the town's men within her grasp but only loves Rochefort. The love scenes are extremely erotic without any nudity, something only the French are capable of filming it seems. Galiena never reveals her past or why she seems somehow desperately sad. She seems to cover up her emptiness through an anxious obsession with cutting hair and having sex with Rochefort. Her quiet complexities carry the film because the viewers continue to hope for something to be revealed about this private stunning woman.
Although this film is exquisitely beautiful it is also frustrating because the characters never reveal their truths. It is easy to see why Rochefort would be passionate about Galiena but what drives Galiena to be interested in Rochefort? Possibly the filmmakers decided to let the viewers form their own opinions about each character. Regardless it is worth the effort but you may never look at hairdressers quite the same. "
A Fractured Fairy Tale
John P. Morgan | Diamond Bar, CA United States | 11/25/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This movie is hauntingly beautiful. When i first saw it, I was absolutely in awe at the raw beauty of it. It grabbed my heart and made it beg for absolute mercy. I loved it even though it made me weep several times over. There is no "happy ending" to this film as Americans would have it. In this way it doesn't underestimate the viewer, it just makes them realize that life is all things; paiful, delightful, sensuous, disastrous. I recommend this movie highly."
A One of a Kind Romance Story
Byron Medina | Scottsdale, AZ, US | 04/07/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This truly unique film goes deep inside the development of a man's true love for the woman of his dreams. What appears to be a fixation rooted from childhood feelings towards a hairdresser and the good-feeling they represent, is a unique love that spurs pure from the heart. In return, the recipient of this love is also a giver and the relationship these two people share is greater than any outsider can understand. A twist in the end of this picture forces one to analyze the true passion this couple had for each other. A refreshing unique expression of love is displayed here, which sets itself apart from the typical boy meets girl film. As most foriegn films dicate: God is in the Details. Watch closely and enjoy."
A quiet & intense snapshot of extreme loving
L. Frantz | Washington D.C. | 03/07/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"He is a middle-aged French guy who has since childhood dreamt of being le mari d'une coiffeuse, the husband of a hairdresser. She is the beautiful, sexy coiffeuse who only cuts men's hair. They fall in love. They spend their days at the shop together in a private, surreal existence. They experience each other in exquisite detail. The unexpected, heart-wrenching ending will have you struggling to understand, quietly reflecting for a long while after."