In her first major screen role, Academy Award®-winner Juliette Binoche (The English Patient) gives a raw and electrifying performance as sexual free-spirit Nina, who moves to Paris to become an actress. She has a profound ... more »impact on three men. Paulot (Wadeck Stanczak) is a timid real estate clerk infatuated with her. His roommate, Quentin (Lambert Wilson), is an emotionally scarred actor who performs in live sex shows. Scrutzler (screen legend Jean-Louis Trintignant) is a stage director who casts Nina in his production of Romeo and Juliet. Co-written by Olivier Assayas (Irma Vep), Rendez-vous is a mesmerizing study of love, loss, and redemption that earned director Andre Techine (Wild Reeds) Best Director honors at the Cannes Film Festival.« less
A very young and vital Juliette Binoche carries this
Dennis Littrell | SoCal | 11/18/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Notice how the jackets of just about every video, especially the French ones, SHOUT how SEXY the movie is. In Krzysztof Kieslowski's "Blue," par example, Juliette Binoche and the film are touted as being so, so sexy. But it wasn't, and neither was she. However in "Rendez-Vous" you will see a Juliette Binoche with enough sexual power to awaken a dead man-not to say that this movie is as good as Kieslowski's "Blue." It isn't, but it's not bad.Binoche is full of energy as a provincial French girl with a flair for the stage new to the lights of gay Paree. She plays fast and loose (and natural) with the men she meets, and dodges some serious trouble before working it out with the man she really wants. Characteristically, Director André Téchiné leads us close to the dark side of sex without really offending our sensibilities.Jean-Louis Trintignant appears in a small role that anticipates his triumphant creation as the admiring older man in Kieslowski's "Trois Couleurs: Rouge" nine years later."
Brilliant Narration of the Discovery of Love...
Kim Anehall | Chicago, IL USA | 04/11/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Love in the romantic sense could be described as an intense personal feeling with steps of warmth, devotion, tenderness, and attachment that could eventually lead to sexual embrace between two individuals with mutual and reciprocal feelings. Despite this description there are many struggles with discovering this truly wonderful sensation and they may skip one or all of the steps and only adopt the sexual embrace. Thus, the individual simply becomes an object for exchange of fluids and temporary lustful desire where the individual loses connection on a more cerebral plane leaving the person with a hollow and empty feeling after the sexual moment. Rendez-vous displays this sexual emptiness where a young woman drifts from man to man, as she seeks a place to sleep for the night.
A realty agency receives a new client in Nina (Juliette Binoche) who is looking for a cheap, not too small, apartment in central Paris. Currently, Nina stays with "friends", men that will let her stay for the night, frequently in exchange for her physical nearness and sexual embrace. Often she tells the men that she loves them in order eliminate questions and awkward moments when she stays with them. However, it seems as if she merely uses them for her personal needs. Paulot (Wadeck Stanczak), the representative from the realty agency receives tickets to one of Nina's performances and he learns all this from her as she leaves her current "friend".
The innocent and kind Paulot finds Nina very attractive and his feelings begin to build up within him. This presents an opportunity that Nina seizes while Paulot helplessly does everything to save her from homelessness. Through Paulot's noble attempts Nina meets Quentin (Lambert Wilson), Paulot's roommate, who seems to be a shady character with much emotional baggage. This becomes obvious, as Quentin follows Nina to her hotel room, which Paulot managed to arrange for her.
Initially, it seems as if the story is going in every possible direction without thought or consideration, as Quentin stalks Nina and convinces her to do what he says. First Quentin appears to be a psychopath with stalking problems as he follows Nina wherever she wanders, which seems to frighten her. When she finds someone to help protect her from him, she ends up protecting Quentin. Quentin introduces Nina to the world of sex theater, and eventually sways her to let him spend the night. This diverging wandering in the storyline initially seems impossible; however, patience will reward the viewers with big dividends.
Rendez-vous turns into a contemporary psychodynamic version of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. Nina is the film's Juliet, a part she also prepares for in a play while she is struggling to grasp the concept of love during her preparations, as she learns the emptiness of mere sexual embrace and the importance of devotion and tenderness. The director André Téchiné presents the problems in the film through the results of characters actions, which displays immature blind obsession and hatred. There is also a large portion of intolerance in the perspective of each character's feelings, as they all seem to put themselves first. Rendez-vous offers loose adaptation of Shakespeare's teenage tragedy, which leaves the audience contemplating the notion of love, devotion, tenderness, affectionate warmth, and attachment as Nina plays her cards."
Somber but fascinating
Christopher M. Williams | 09/30/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Rendez-Vous features a chubby adolescent Juliette Binoche before Leos carax modeled her for stardom. The movie is heavey but well worth viewing it will make you think, question reality truth and sexuality as well as entertain in a stragely voyeuristic way. Well worth a look!"
A Characiture of a Bad French Film
Christopher M. Williams | Shumen, Bulgaria | 08/07/2006
(2 out of 5 stars)
"I always wince a bit when Americans (and, really, most other nationalities) are all too confident when they poke fun at the French. But sometimes the French play into the hands of such a characiture. If one were in search of evidence that French films are obscure, despairing, and full of gratuitous sex dressed up as high art, Rendez-Vous should be exhibit A. It is almost a parody of a crappy, pretentious, and completely joyless arthouse film.
Having escaped to Paris in order to "live life," Nina does quite the opposite. The dingy depiction of the Paris underscores the impression that the city is more of a meat grinder than a place of discovery or liberation. Early on in the film, we interupt Nina at the theater while as she is about to mount the usher. He proceeds to treat her terribly, he insults her, and a pattern is born. Nina will continue to attract and be drawn to men who abuse her. Yet she is not simply a passive victim in this game. Paulot, who arranged her lodging, seems at first to have the normal attraction to Nina. Surely, this attraction is sexual, but it is not exclusively sexual. We can easily imagine Paulot, if he had never been humiliated by her, desiring a normal relationship. But as Nina later admits to her theater director, she would not sleep with Paulot. He is sweet, and she tells Paulot that she loves him, but that is not enough. She is drawn to something more sinister. Paulot's behavior at the end of the film is disgusting and degrading, but I didn't feel that this was inherent to his character. Nina has left her mark, Paulot becomes what he must be to have her. Nina is not "living life" in Paris, she is emotionally dead, and is making the same of others.
Surrounding her relationships is a storyline concerning a production of Romeo and Juiliet, its director, and a tragedy involving its previous stars. How this pertains to Nina is unclear, but the idea that "the sins (or tragedies rather) of the father will be visited on the son" comes to mind.
This film is not erotic, and Nina is not sexy. We see no evidence of her desires and there is not one loving or tender second in this movie. She runs head long into misery and sometimes can return it in kind. Ulitmately, she is a little girl who is destroyed by Paris. So what does the film want to portray? Utter despair and humiliation? How French!
I gave the movie 2 stars because I wasn't compelled to turn it off. While I didn't like the movie, and won't recommend it, I was still kept reasonably interested, and do like watching Juiliette Binoche. I hung on for some kind of redemtion, but it never came. I guess that would be too sentimental, or bourgeios. It's a shame, because I do like many French movies, and movies that do something unusual."
Must-see French cinema: Téchiné's 'Rendez-vous .'
G. Merritt | Boulder, CO | 08/26/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
""The nights I've slept alone since I came to Paris I could count on the fingers of one hand."
Directed by André Téchiné, Rendez-vous (1985) is a dark yet powerful French drama that explores love and sexual desire from the point of view of three emotionally-damaged people. It tells the story of Nina (Juliette Binoche, in her first major film role), a sexually-free-spirited young woman who has traveled from Toulouse to Paris in search for success as an actress. Upon her arrival in the City of Lights, she has a series of one-night stands while looking for her own apartment. Three very different men, Fred (Jean-Louis Vitrac), Nina's boyfriend of the moment, Paulot (Wadeck Stanczak), a real estate agent, and Quentin (Lambert Wilson), his actor/roommate, all compete for her attention. Paulot is mild-mannered; Quenten, by contrast, is suicidal, dangerous, and intense. Although Nina complains to Quentin she feels sexually used by nearly every man she encounters in Paris, eventually she has sex with each of the three men (in explicitly erotic scenes). After a theater director, Scrutzler (Jean-Louis Trintignant), casts her as the female lead in Romeo and Juliet, Nina is forced to confront her own self-doubts and fears as she rehearses for the role. Binoche brings a mesmerizing performance to Rendez-vous. Techine won Best Director honors at the Cannes Film Festival.