Jacques Rivette's masterful film tells the tale of an ill-fated love affair between a Parisian socialite and a Napoleonic war hero. Their story unfolds amidst the extravagant balls of restoration-era Paris where the handsome General Armand de Montriveau (Guillaume Depardieu) encounters the beautiful, coquettish but married Antoinette de Langeais (Jeanne Balibar). Vowing that she will be his lover, Montriveau pursues the alluring Antoinette who in turn orchestrates a calculating game of seduction but repeatedly rebuffs his advances. Humiliated, Montriveau seeks revenge just as Antoinette's passion for him awakens, and a perverse romantic power struggle ensues. Once again adapting Balzac - the source of his acclaimed 'La Belle Noiseuse' - Rivette's subtle and superbly acted drama is a riveting exploration of the intricacies of love and desire.
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