Wed May 8, 2002
The Triumph of Love
Move over Kenneth Brannagh, Clare Peploe and Bertolucci are after your corner on the market for European theatrical classics...
By Clay Lowe, WCBE's "It's Movie Time"
"The Triumph of Love" is a fun-filled return to the French classics of the 18th century with Clare Peploe's cinematic revival of Marivaux's comedy of manners. Her famous film director husband, Bernardo Bertolucci, co-wrote the script.
Mira Sorvino as the Princess, plays a double role as both the male, Phocion, and the female, Aspasie, and steals the whole movie, but then she's onscreen most of the time so why shouldn't she? Mugging it upstage, however, is Ben Kingsley who may be trying a little too hard. Nevertheless, he's a hoot as an 18th century aristocratic philosopher who keeps attempting to rationalize away the existence of love.
The handsome Jay Rodan is "Agis," the disenfranchised inheritor of the throne. He is a real hunk -- naked and otherwise -- which Mira does not fail to notice. In order to gain access to the household (so she can help him regain the throne her father stole away) she pulls a Drew Barrymore -- a la "Poison Ivy" -- and attempts to seduce everyone in the household in order to secure their assistance in her task.
It all gets a little tiring, but "The Triumph of Love" is filled with amusing, sometimes quite entertaining, moments which come as a relief from all of the sound and fury Hollywood has bombarded us with these past few months.
Move over Kenneth Brannagh, Clare Peploe and Bertolucci are after your corner on the market for European theatrical classics.
Clay Lowe co-hosts WCBE's "It's Movie Time" and programs the film series at the Columbus Museum of Art.