Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Dangerous Beauty, (1998)- R

The late Roger Ebert (4.5 stars) reviewed this film with the opening description: "The life you lead, the freedom you have--will you deny my daughters the same chance? Not the request every mother would address to a prostitute, but "Dangerous Beauty" makes a persuasive case for the life of a courtesan in 16th century Venice. At a time when Europeans are bemused by our naiveté about dalliance in high places, this is, I suppose, the film we should study. It's based on the true story of Veronica Franco, a well-born Venetian beauty who deliberately chose the life of a courtesan because it seemed a better choice than poverty, or an arranged marriage to a decayed nobleman.”
In the era of 2019 #metoo, I believe this IS a film we should return to and study. Catherine McCormack was brilliant as the Venetian beauty. Her performance 20 years ago that unmasks the sexual and gender hypocrisy would be equally brilliant today.
Ok, if these larger gender issues are not why you see a movie, here are more reasons to watch this movie; the beautiful photography of Venue, costumes that are breath taking, a truly romantic movie, tasteful nude and erotic scenes, a sex positive non-monogamous theme and a powerful leading actress. I truly enjoyed revisiting this film. The film is available on Netflix streaming. Paul Bray 1/12/19

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