La Belle Noiseuse
More About La Belle Noiseuse
Frenhofer (Michel Piccoli), a renowned French artist, hasn't lifted his brush in years. But when he meets the stunningly beautiful girlfriend (Emmanuelle Beart) of a young painter visiting his chateau, she inspires him to return to work on an abandoned masterpiece, known as "La Belle Noiseuse." Frenhofer had set the painting aside a decade earlier when it threatened to consume him entirely and destroy his fragile relationship with his wife. Stirred to action once more, he and the young model embark on a perilous collaboration that will forever change them both. New Wave legend Jacques Rivette's beautiful, passionate film honestly depicts the painful choices an artist must sometimes make between commitment to life and loved ones, or total submission to the often devastating demands of art.
1991 - Cannes - Jury Prize Winner
Main Cast & Crew
Jacques Rivette - Director
Jacques Rivette delivers this passionate film about an embittered painter (Michel Piccoli) and the beautiful young woman who serves as his model, challenging him, inspiring him, and ultimately collaborating with him on his long-unfinished masterpiece.
The title roughly translates as "the beautiful annoyance". A co-production with FR3 Films Production and George Reinhart Productions with the participation of Centre National de la Cinematographie and Canal+ and La Sofica "Investimage 2 et 3" with the participation of the Region Languedoc-Roussillon. An MK2 Productions USA Release. Part of New Yorker Video's "Great Directors" series. The paintings and drawings that are presented as the work of "Frenhofer" were created by the artist Bernard Dufour. It is his hand that we see in the shots where sketches are being made. Using alternate takes, Rivette recut the footage into a 126 minute film for French television. This version of the story is called "La Belle Noiseuse: Divertimento", and has a substantially different beginning and ending, in addition to its quicker pace. "Divertimento" was later given its own theatrical and video release. This is not the first time that Rivette has used this editing technique to create a shorter, and presumably more commercial, version of one of his lengthy films. He did the same thing with three earlier works: "Out 1: Noli me tangere" (re-cut and released as 'Out 1: Spectre'), "L'Amour Fou", and "L'Amour par terre".
"...The film is a haunting meditation on art and beauty..." - 10/31/1991 Rolling Stone, p.99
"...Rivette's masterpiece....Not merely an exciting return to form, but also something of a personal testament..." - 04/01/1992 Sight and Sound, p.43-4
"...LA BELLE NOISEUSE has many of the trademarks of traditional French cinema: ravishing scenery, beautiful women, and a sophisticated bonhomie..." - 09/01/1991 Film Comment, p.2-4
"...Involving....Piccoli makes use of all his accumulated skill here, and the pleasure of LA BELLE NOISEUSE is not only seeing him employ it, but seeing a film that is challenging enough to make him have to..." - 11/08/1991 Los Angeles Times, p.F1
"...Some movies are worlds that we can sink into, and LA BELLE NOISEUSE is one of them..." - 01/24/1992 Chicago Sun-Times, p.37
"...Director Jacques Rivette's definitive screen portrait of the artist-model relationship finesses its four-hour running time..." - 04/01/1994 USA Today, p.3D