From Paris in the 1960s to London in the first decade of the third millennium, Madeleine and her daughter Véra flit from one amorous adventure to the next, living for the moment and taking all the opportunities that life offers. But not every love affair is without its consequences, its upsets and its disappointments. As time goes by and gnaws away at one’s deepest feelings, love becomes a harder game to play...
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Never enamored with the sobriquet "chick flick"; admittedly there are films that fall into that genre. "Beloved" garnishes a slot. It is French Marshmallow Fluff; vanilla, sickeningly saccharine, sentimental, sensational and I could not wait for it to be over.
Spanning decades, Ludivine Sagnier as "Madeleine": young, vivacious prostitute who marries a "John" has a daughter, divorces; ingÃ©nue "Madeleine" matures into seasoned adulthood; Catherine Deneuve, still luscious, imbues the character with salty sinuousness, balancing her ex-husband (delightful depiction by Milos Forman) and present mate; she watches her adult daughter "Vera" (Deneuve's actual daughter, Chiara Mastroianni) fall tragically in love with a homosexual musician. The successful, subtle nuances between the two should have been capitalized upon; gracing the screen with compelling chemistry.
"Beloved" is too ambitious, indecisive and flounders between monumental issues: infidelity, Russia's invasion of Czechoslovakia , AIDS, heartache, all set to music; the lyrics are hummable, recognizable and struggle to compliment the scenario, but only "aid" the melodramatic, meandering, predictable outcome.
TWO & 1/2 STARS