La Belle Noiseuse
|La Belle Noiseuse|
French theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Jacques Rivette|
|Written by||Pascal Bonitzer|
|Based on||Le Chef-d'œuvre inconnu|
by Honoré de Balzac
|Music by||Igor Stravinsky|
|Edited by||Nicole Lubtchansky|
Pierre Grise Productions
|Language||French / English|
La Belle Noiseuse is a 1991 French drama film directed by Jacques Rivette and starring Michel Piccoli, Jane Birkin, and Emmanuelle Béart. Its title (pronounced [la bɛl nwa.zøz]) means "The Beautiful (female) Troublemaker". The film is loosely adapted from the short story "Le Chef-d'œuvre inconnu" (The Unknown Masterpiece) by Honoré de Balzac and also includes elements from the short stories "The Liar" and "The Figure in the Carpet", and the novella The Aspern Papers by Henry James.
In the south of France at the Chateau d’Assas, Nicholas and Marianne go to visit the famous aged painter Frenhofer. Nicholas is a young painter seeking to meet a master. Frenhofer has however been inactive for years. After some initial exchanges, the conversation begins to die down when Nicholas suggests that Frenhofer use Marianne as a new model to help reinspire him. He decides to take another chance at finishing a painting he had long ago abandoned while using his wife as his model.
Marianne is at first somewhat reluctant to become a model for him. Frenhofer is not much better in warming up to his new model. He makes various pen and ink drawings of her with washes, which begin to reinvorate his artistic imagination, and he soon gets his model to pose nude for him. Their relationship becomes both more fractious and more intimate. In the end, Frenhofer finishes his painting.
- Michel Piccoli as Édouard Frenhofer
- Jane Birkin as Liz
- Emmanuelle Béart as Marianne
- Marianne Denicourt as Julienne
- David Bursztein as Nicolas
- Gilles Arbona as Porbus
- Marie Belluc as Magali
- Marie-Claude Roger as Françoise
- Leïla Remili as a maid
- Daphne Goodfellow as a tourist
- Susan Robertson as a tourist
- Bernard Dufour as the painter's hand
The film had a good critical reception, and occasioned much comment on Béart's extensive onscreen nudity and director Rivette's characteristic use of a long running time (in this case, roughly four hours).
The film holds an approval rating of 100% on review aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes based on 29 reviews, with a weighted average of 8.08/10. The site's consensus reads: "A sensual and hypnotic masterpiece, La Belle Noiseuse luxuriates in its four-hour run time while holding audience attention".
Rivette used alternative takes from the film and made changes in the scene order to produce a shorter, 125-minute version, La Belle Noiseuse: Divertimento, for television. It was also released theatrically in some countries.
- "Entretien Jacques Rivette - L'art secret". Les Inrocks (in French). 19 March 2007. Retrieved 21 April 2020.
- "Festival de Cannes: La Belle Noiseuse". festival-cannes.com. Retrieved 21 April 2020.
- "La Belle Noiseuse (1991)". rogerebert.com. Retrieved 7 July 2020.
- "La Belle Noiseuse (1991)". Retrieved 21 April 2020 – via www.rottentomatoes.com.
- Rivette, Jacques; De Pascale, Goffredo (2003). Jacques Rivette (in Italian). Il Castoro. ISBN 88-8033-256-2.