Thursday, May 19, 2005

Appetizer for Kings and Queen

My girlfriend Jo will be happy to know that Arnaud Desplechin's Kings & Queen, which will almost certainly be my number 1 movie of 2005, opens in LA tomorrow. She'll soon no longer have to endure my constant whining, much like a ravenous child demanding a third Sausage McMuffin, about my "insatiable need" to see Kings & Queen again immediately. Hopefully, a second viewing will fill out the nascent thoughts sitting in my draft folder, leading to an actual substantive post sometime this year.

One little nugget for discussion: Is Emmanuelle Devos really that hot? I'm pouring through the numerous raves of the movie from the critics (it appears to be the most rapturously received talky French movie since the heyday of Eric Rohmer, and deservedly so), and the most hyperbolic review of all -- Andrew O'Herir in Salon ("This is a movie you'll carry with you the rest of your life, maybe the way you carry "Fanny and Alexander" or "Vertigo" or "Berlin Alexanderplatz" or "Wings of Desire" or "Chungking Express" or, you know, fill in the blank yourself. It's really that good.") -- builds a review around the proposition that Emmanuelle Devos is blindingly beautiful, an incandescent object of physical perfection a la Catherine Deneuve.

To which I can only say, huh? I will bow to nobody save Chris Stults in my admiration of Devos as an actress, but is she even supposed to be hot?
I've always thought Desplechin positioned her as a kind of more prosaic ("Leda" allusion aside) alternative to the more conventionally beautiful Marianne Denicourt (photo right) or even my own eccentric favorite, Chiara Mastrioanni.

Sorry to get all Maxim here, but Devos' plainness always seemed to me to be integral to the kind of roles she plays, especially in My Sex Life. And it is too a valid question -- my understanding of My Sex Life would be completely different if Devos is meant to be an consensus "hot" type.