in about 100 words or less
US 119m, Colour
Director: Stephen Frears; Cast: Glenn Close, John Malkovich, Michelle Pfeiffer, Swoosie Kurtz, Keanu Reeves, Mildred Natwick, Uma Thurman
Dangerous Liaisons is a dramatic period film based upon the novel Les liaisons Dangereuses (1782) by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos. Set in 18thC France, the film features outstanding performances by Glenn Close and John Malkovich who play delightfully depraved aristocrats who, as a former couple, take pleasure as rivals in games of sexual exploitation involving their mutual acquaintances. As amusement, they make and execute deviously intricate plans to humiliate a virtuous married woman, played by Pfeiffer, and to spoil the chastity of an unmarried younger woman, Uma Thurman – whose convent days were supposed to ensure her purity. Dangerous Liaisons is enormously engaging, filled with wonderful dialogue and nuanced performances, replete with lavish set design and costuming, and splendid cinematography (Klaus Ming March 2011).