The following phrases will assuredly come out of your mouth if you don’t take this critics advice and purposefully choose to go watch the new period piece, The Last Mistress. What the Hell was that?! I’ll never get those hours of my life back ever again! Make the pain stop. Seriously, I want my money back!!!
Yes I’m aware that foreign cinema, in this case French, is a little different from what we American audiences are used to. However, that’s no excuse for making a film that goes nowhere, has no exciting parts, and in the end leaves you feeling completely empty. Such is the dilemma with, the last mistress. The plot, although I found none, slowly follows something like this. Asia Argento portrays the tempting mistress Vellini who after a ten year affair with Ryno de Marigny played by Fu`ad Ait Aattou, is forced to give up her lasting tryst due to his upcoming marriage. Ryno will only be allowed to marry the young and beautiful Hermangarde, Roxane Mesquida through the approval of her Grandmother, the wise and very wealthy socialite La marquise de Flers, Claude Sarraute. Although with his playboy background, this may be easier said than done.
You can tell that Director Catherine Breillat was trying to show us the deeply disturbed side of the story’s main characters, but she falls extremely short. First of all the film’s two leads are way to young for their roles, which appear to be somewhere between early to mid thirties. Even the love scenes which leave absolutely nothing to the imagination are extremely boring and at one point beyond creepy. Worth mentioning, is the incredible costume design and halfway decent cinematography, although these two points alone are not nearly enough to save the film.
If there is a lesson that the movie is trying to teach us, its “once a cheater always a cheater.” However, this fact is clearly evident within the first ten minutes of viewing. After that we’re subjected to scenes from the characters past and present that give us no new information whatsoever, and take the movie into a downward spiral of nothingness.
Now keep in mind, I have no working knowledge of the French language, but I’ve just come up with a phrase that perfectly captures this film. “Le Stink!”