Provocative French director Catherine Breillat (Romance, Fat Girl) does a period piece with plenty of sex in this film set in 19th-century France, where the androgynously beautiful Fu'ad Ait Aattou plays Ryno de Marigny, a nobleman engaged to a well-regarded woman, who is unable to shake his tempestuous mistress of 10 years, La Vellini (Asia Argento). Argento is sensational as the carnal spitfire, lasciviously smoking these little black cigars and periodically letting out a lusty guttural laughter that's slightly scary. She's such a voracious vixen that Marigny doesn't stand a chance. But even with the heavy breathing, the movie is a bit staid and didn't quite add up to much for me.

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