Synopsis

Stephen Frears, the director who bolstered his international reputation with his Choderlos de Laclos adaptation Dangerous Liaisons (1988), returns to the annals of period intrigue over 20 years later with this melodrama, which reunites him with Liasons scripter Christopher Hampton and star Michelle Pfeiffer. An adaptation of Colette's 1920 novel of the same name, the tale unfurls in late 19th century Paris -- La Belle Époque -- where numerous courtesans (or female companions of noblemen who occupied the royal courts) have worked their way up through the ranks of high society. Two retired courtesans, Charlotte Peloux (Kathy Bates) and Lea (Michelle Pfeiffer), meet for some routine gossip; Lea then meets Charlotte's hedonistic playboy son, nicknamed "Chéri" (Rupert Friend), and a passionate, erotic affair blossoms for the next six years between Lea and Chéri. Eventually, Charlotte makes an aggressive attempt to interfere with the situation by setting up an arranged marriage between Chéri and the virginal 18-year-old Edmée (Felicity Jones), the daughter of another ex-courtesan, Marie-Laure (Iben Hjejle). Lea feels irritated, and responds by seeking out young male lovers during a vacation in Biarritz, but the attached Chéri is not far behind, and in seemingly no time at all the two resume their bedroom liaisons. ~ Nathan Southern, Rovi

Provided by Rovi