Une Liaison Pornographique

****

Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

They meet through an advertisement. She has reached the age when sexual fantasy must be realised or it suffocates in vacuous wish fulfillment. He is good-humoured, younger and too well-mannered to be exploring the deviant extremeties of desire with a professional.

From such dubious beginnings, the Belgian writer/director team of Philippe Blasband and Frederic Fonteyne has created a perfect miniature of human relations, so delicate and delightful. The writing is intelligent and full of insight, the acting of Natalie Baye and Sergi Lopez in total harmony.

It is not so much the story of two people, who don't know each other, doing odd, naked things in a hotel room in the middle of the day in Paris, as discovering a depth of feeling that doesn't correspond to X-rated experimentation and then being afraid of where it might lead, or what it might mean.

Blasband sets himself a difficult task, to write a two-hander that avoids monotony and repetition within the tightest of frameworks. He succeeds by having the courage of his convictions and trusting his characters to be true to themselves.

Fonteyne directs with an imaginative flair that obliterates thoughts of smutty innuendo. This is a truly sophisticated film, cleverly constructed and beautifully played. Sex has seldom been better served for discerning, romantic sensualists.

Reviewed on: 19 Jan 2001
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Exploration of love and sex after two people meet through a small ad.
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Director: Frederic Fonteyne

Writer: Philippe Blasband

Starring: Nathalie Baye, Sergi López, Jacques Viala, Paul Pavel, Sylvie Van den Elsen, Pierre Gerranio, Hervé Sogne, Christophe Sermet

Year: 1999

Runtime: 80 minutes

BBFC: 18 - Age Restricted

Country: Belgium / France / Luxembourg / Switzerland

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