Nathalie... (15)

Directed by Anne Fontaine
Showing at the FACT from 30th July
French with English subtitles

Reviewed by Lesley Fraser

Catherine (Fanny Ardent) is in a lifeless marriage to Bernard (Gérard Depardieu), she is already aware of her husband's frequent flings but is determined to find out what his sexual desires are by taking the unusual step of hiring a prostitute to do the job for her. Catherine hires the services of Nathalie/Marlène (Emmanuelle Béart) to seduce Bernard and report the details of their encounters.

What was particularly intriguing about the film was the relationship between the two strikingly beautiful women; despite meeting in unusual circumstances a delicate friendship grows between them, this in turn has a positive effect on Catherine’s marriage.
The film does however, in parts, drag on a little, for example one becomes slightly exasperated with the stone-faced composure of Catherine throughout the film, even when hearing the lurid descriptions from Nathalie. Gérard Depardieu is absent most of the time and it is easy not to care about yet another middle class marriage going nowhere.