Monday, February 18, 2002


I'd read the Cornell Woolrich novel that this movie was based on ("Waltz Into Darkness") and liked it a lot. Last summer, another movie from the same book was released, ORIGINAL SIN with Antonio Bandaras, but I didn't read a single good review of it, so I finally tracked this one down. It's flawed, especially compared to the novel, but well worth watching. Jean-Paul Belmondo plays a rich tobacco grower who marries a mail-order bride (Catherine Deneuve), then begins to suspect that she's not exaxctly who she says she is. A mildly perverse cat-and-mouse game begins. Belmondo does a good job of being convincing as someone who might need a mail-order bride--even though I didn't see the recent version,
I wondered why on earth Banderas couldn't find a woman on his own. Deneuve is lovely and mysterious, though not quite as tough-as-nails as I imagined the character from the novel. At a full two hours, this drags some in the last third, and the French atmosphere is not as evocative as the New Orleans setting of the book, and the ending isn't quite right, but I'm glad I got a chance to see it.

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