6.5/10
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8 user 14 critic

La femme publique (1984)

An unexperienced young actress is invited to play a role in a film based on Dostoyevsky's 'The Possessed'. The film director, a Czech immigrant in Paris, takes over her life, and in a short... See full summary »

Director:

Andrzej Zulawski

Writers:

Dominique Garnier (scenario), Andrzej Zulawski (scenario) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Francis Huster ... Lucas Kessling
Valérie Kaprisky ... Ethel (as Valerie Kaprisky)
Lambert Wilson ... Milan Mliska
Patrick Bauchau ... Le père d'Ethel
Gisèle Pascal ... Gertrude
Roger Dumas ... André, le photographe
Diane Delor Diane Delor ... Elena Mliska
Jean-Paul Farré Jean-Paul Farré ... Pierre
Olivier Achard Olivier Achard ... Le premier assistant réalisateur
Yveline Ailhaud Yveline Ailhaud ... Rachel
Michel Albertini Michel Albertini ... Maurice
Marianne Basler Marianne Basler ... Une jeune anarchiste
Nathalie Bécue Nathalie Bécue ... L'habilleuse (as Nathalie Becue)
Lucas Belvaux ... François
René Bériard René Bériard ... Mgr Shlapas (as Rene Beriard)
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Storyline

An unexperienced young actress is invited to play a role in a film based on Dostoyevsky's 'The Possessed'. The film director, a Czech immigrant in Paris, takes over her life, and in a short time she is unable to draw the line between acting and reality. She winds up playing a real-life role posing as the dead wife of another Czech immigrant, who is manipulated by the filmmaker into commiting a political assasination. Written by Yuri German <blsidt1@imf.org>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

France

Language:

French

Release Date:

16 May 1984 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

The Public Woman See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Valérie Kaprisky took dance lessons to perform her two nude dance scenes. She practiced to the music of David Bowie and two of his songs were played on set during the scenes. But obtaining the rights to use Bowie's music would have eclipsed the film's entire budget, so composer Alain Wisniak had to create new music to go with the footage. See more »

Alternate Versions

U.S. based video label Mondo Video selected this film as its debut release. Their 2008 DVD is the first to have English subtitles. Prior to this release, the film was only available officially in select European countries. See more »

Connections

References Gone with the Wind (1939) See more »

Soundtracks

Grande messe en Ut' Mineur KV 427
Written by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (as W.A. Mozart)
See more »

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User Reviews

Gorgeous Kaprisky, but confused screen play
20 November 1998 | by Sigmund-3See all my reviews

It's a real shame that this movie has a such confused screen-play. We are acquainted to non-linear plots, but this one exceeds. Probably this is because the director himself performed as a screen writer, and so we often see shots that have a strong visual impact, and are tecnically impressive, but whose function within the storyline is unnecessary and confusing. So many elements remain undetailed, for instance Ethel's relationship with her parents and the underlying political conspiracy. And the mysterious bohemienne writer that appears twice in the movie... who is? And how comes that he is part of Ethel's background? At a certain point you ask yourself what is going on and what the movie is all about.

Editing is not always faultless, and there is some rough cut.

Coming to the bright side, as I noted above there are good shots, both for directing and for acting that is really good by all actors. Valerie Kaprisky who was then 22 old, appears gorgeous and dramatic at the same time. Huster and Lambert also play their parts convincingly.

Rating: *** (out of six)


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