The Last Mistress – Foreign Film Review

Currently playing on ON DEMAND in the U.S. and also available on rental is the French film THE LAST MISTRESS (2007) directed by Catherine Breillart.  The story revolves around a young desolate man, named Ryno De Marigny (Fuad Ait Aitu) who is about to marry a young aristocratic woman, named Hermangarde (Roxane Mosquida) while dealing with the rumors suggesting he is in a torrid love affair with a local prostitute, named La Vellini (Asia Argento).

The film is cleverly written and well directed and is set in narrative form during 19th century France and although  has a slow start, it does a wonderful job of luring the viewer into the storyline.

What I found the most fascinating is the young man’s struggle with detaching himself from the prostitute while trying to become a committed husband to the woman he marries. The sad part is, although we tend to root for the “bride to be”/victim in any film of this nature, I somehow felt worse for the prostitute, for she was tormented by the worst fear any woman can experience in her lifetime.

The tale of the torrid love affair is well paced and integrated throughout the film and outside of having to read the subtitles to make sense of the story, the overall film was one of the best foreign (period) films I have seen in a while.

Be warned of nudity and heavy sexual content and if you plan to rent it, be sure to not be distracted by anything else, otherwise the film isn’t worth a bother.

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