A young Parisian woman meets a middle-aged American businessman who demands their clandestine relationship be based only on sex.A young Parisian woman meets a middle-aged American businessman who demands their clandestine relationship be based only on sex.A young Parisian woman meets a middle-aged American businessman who demands their clandestine relationship be based only on sex.
One of the those movies that more people have heard about than seen and probably works better that way. While certainly sexually frank, even today, it is far too European art house for most tastes.
The plot idles, stops and jerks like a country milk train, leaving so many questions unanswered that you have to write half the script in your own head to get through it.
Brando's portrait of a man that seems torn between falling in love and falling under a bus is certainly unique. Especially as most viewers and critics had concluded that he had already shown his full hand of cards. In contrast co-star Schnieder is amazing in being able to put together a performance from so little. Indeed she is just an inflated muse, who the film seems little interested in.
My problem with the film is that it is about emptiness, depression and alienation; but there is so much of it about anyway (and always has been, just turn on the news!) that going looking for in cinema seems pointless. The sex is not really sexy, merely people trying to enliven their dull lives not unlike people who take drugs to achieve the same. If there is romance here, it can only be seen as a sadomasochistic romance played out among damaged people.
LTIP is certainly a milestone picture, if only for Brando's totally open and no holds barred performance, but it leaves far too many question unanswered to be anything like a classic. Indeed this is merely an exercise in mood, tempo and design and was a box office hit because people had not seen frank sexuality on the screen like this before.
The world of sex-on-film has moved on so much since this was released that today's audience will not have a clue what caused the press headlines. Indeed many will be yawning through the famous scenes that once shocked a generation...
- May 8, 2003