Yorgos Arvanitis
Lisa Schwarzbaum
July 04, 2008 AT 04:00 AM EDT

The Last Mistress

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
Unrated
runtime
115 minutes
Limited Release Date
06/27/08
performer
Asia Argento
director
Catherine Breillat
author
Catherine Breillat
genre
Drama

We gave it an A-

The sumptuous costumes and florid dialogue in The Last Mistress represent early-19th-century French custom at its most curlicued, but the power of one woman’s molten sexuality is timeless in Catherine Breillat’s rich drama. Asia Argento stars as the title siren whose allure threatens the impending marriage of a dissolute younger playboy (Fu’ad Ait Aattou) to a virginal aristocrat (Roxane Mesquida). Breillat, the flamethrower who made Romance and Fat Girl, artfully twists period-piece drama to suit her provocative modern notions about sex, gender roles, and power. A-

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