While on their first date, Georgio (Vincent Cassel), clearly a well-heeled heel, pauses awkwardly for a moment before answering Tony’s (Emmanuelle Bercot) inquiry as to his status as a jerk. Writer-director Maïwenn could have stopped just short of tattooing the words “Caution: Asshole Enclosed” across Georgio’s forehead and doormat Tony still wouldn’t have been able to resist letting the bad boy wipe his feet on her. Love is blind, but the audience isn’t, and why these future contestants on The Jerry Springer Show stay together is anyone’s guess, particularly Maïwenn’s. (Flashbacks check in and out, their jarringly arbitrary disposition reminding one what a masterpiece Bitter Moon is.) Both actors are primed for battle, that includes meeting the requirements of a standard clause in Cassel’s contract that calls for at least one graphic bout of onscreen lovemaking. This time, there’s poignancy amid the passion, a fleeting oasis of virtue in a film otherwise fraught with shallowness. (2015) — Scott Marks
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