Review: 'The Last Mistress'

Scandalous 19th-century tale of a mistress abandoned by her lover leaves something to be desired.

Playing a woman cast aside by her lover, Asia Argento shakes things up in Catherine Breillat's "The Last Mistress," based on a scandalous 19th-century novel. Decorous to a fault, in the manner of middling Eric Rohmer talkfests, it's a film that could use some shaking up. Argento's La Vellini is described as a woman "who can outstare the sun," and you believe it. As her aristocratic lover Ryno de Marigny, Fuad Ait Aattou is a beautiful blank; so is his virginal bride (Roxane Mesquida). On the other hand, next to Argento, just about anybody would seem pallid. Grade: B (Not rated.)

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