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Wednesday, May 28, 2008

PLACE VENDOME (1998)

Freshly widowed, a glamorous lady of a certain age has to face a bankrupt jewelry business, ongoing shady deals, new love, old love & her own alcohol fueled demons. Only by rediscovering a sense of her own worth will she be able to control her new destiny & inherited fortune. It's a great set up for a ‘50s Douglas Sirk meller, and it works nicely for an exceedingly well made French pic w/ an impossibly gorgeous Catherine Deneuve (she was well in her 50s) taking the Jane Wyman/Lana Turner/Susan Hayward/Claudette Colbert role. And what a time she has with it! Megger Nicole Garcia has a bit of a hurdle keeping the large cast & multi-narrative double twists clear, but you won’t mind the few missteps, though the sadder-but-wiser diminuendo ending makes for a poor payoff. Handsomely shot, composed (picrues & score), well paced & superbly cast (with Denueve finding depth in shallow waters), it’s the sort of plush entertainment everyone says they can’t find anymore.

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