4/10
daring but dull
1 June 2000
When reading reviews of this film(few as they seem to be)the word 'pretentious' is likely to come up, maybe along with 'pompous' or possibly even 'pornographic'. As for the latter label, I wouldn't use it that casually. But I still think the concept of 'baring all' has been taken a bit too far in the name of artistic licence.

The plot; female French(as far as I can tell) night club singer hooks up with soft-spoken Spanish artist and falls madly in love. But her happiness is marred by doubts - who is he really, and what is he hiding from her? Sounds truly original, doesn't it? In fact, the way it's executed, this film invites demanding viewers to smug, sarcastic remarks on a regular basis. But if you manage to stick with it till the end, there are some interesting revelations and even something resembling a plot twist.Unfortunately, the grainy look of the film and the female protagonist's voice-over narration in the form of a diary, will have a high percentage of the audience abandoning ship during the first hour.

The director is a recognized one in Europe. Or was, at least. Since the fairly entertaining 'Messidor' is the single previous work of his that I've seen, I can't say for certain if 'Lady M' is a typical sample from his catalogue. To me, it seems the leading lady Mezières scripted a narcissistic showcase for herself and asked Tanner to get on board and turn on the camera without interrupting or asking too many questions.

Mezières own efforts must to some degree be acknowledged as daring and she does have a stroke of personal charisma. But her attempts at passionate poetry fails because she's preoccupied with posturing. And the director lets her get away with it. Some clever editing, a shot of adrenaline and a healthy dose of humour wouldn't have hurt
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