Movie Article

Just Say Noe

The scoop on Monica Bellucci's shocking French hit -- The popular actress and her husband star in the controversial ''Irreversible,'' which includes extended scenes of violence

Vincent Cassel, Monica Bellucci | RISK MANAGEMENT Bellucci stars in the squirm-inducing ''Irreversible''
Image credit: Monica Bellucci and Vincent Cassel: Tony Barson/
RISK MANAGEMENT Bellucci stars in the squirm-inducing ''Irreversible''

It's hard to imagine Brad and Jennifer starring in a bloody film with a horrifying 10-minute rape scene. But that's exactly the risk that France's most popular screen couple, Monica Bellucci (''Maléna'') and husband Vincent Cassel (''Birthday Girl''), took for director Gaspar Noé in ''Irréversible'' -- a release due to hit theaters in March that has so far polarized audiences at Cannes, Toronto, and Sundance. ''In France, it's not weird that they wanted to do this,'' insists Noé, who says he'd previously discussed making an even more explicit picture with the actors.

The film, which, like ''Memento,'' unfolds in reverse time, is already stirring up plenty of watch-it-on-an-empty-stomach buzz. ''We never thought it would be commercial,'' says Noé. ''I just wanted to make a movie that could be banned!'' His next project -- about what he calls ''the pleasure of doing drugs'' -- just might do the trick. (Additional reporting by Adam B. Vary)

Originally posted Feb 19, 2003 Published in issue #696-697 Feb 21, 2003 Order article reprints

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