“Which of us molded the other?”
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
… the action and settings have clearly been modernized, but the basic tenet of sociopaths using others for their own pleasure is as relevant as ever. Moreau and Philipe — in his final performance before dying at age 36 from liver cancer — are well cast in the lead roles as the master manipulators (here a married couple rather than friends, as in the novel) whose own sexual gratification revolves around their exploitation of others:
Vadim’s real-life wife Annette is appropriately tragic as Philipe’s most complex conquest:
… and Valérie and Trintignant are believable as a naive young couple whose lives are also changed forever by their involvement with Valmont and Juliette:
Fans of this harsh classic tale will want to check this version out — but/and should be prepared for a startling update to the story’s original ending.
Notable Performances, Qualities, and Moments: