Le plaisir


1952 – Directed by Max Ophüls

OK, I have to admit I did not watch the whole thing yet. If this is what is published Saturday morning, so be it.

I will say, I see where Wes Anderson likely got some inspiration for The Grand Budapest Hotel, with all the ersatz European decay.


Interesting fact: most every time I watch Wes Anderson’s movies, I feel literally sick to my stomach. This is not to say I dislike his work, and it may be that it all references back to my having originally seen The Royal Tennenbaums in early fits of morning sickness, but his movies are so rich and trifling and twee, that I always feel like I ate too many bonbons.

Le plaisir inspires a similar reaction. Sugary sweet, full of rather insipid tropes (hooker with the heart of gold, vain, impudent model, burly sailors in striped shirts getting into brawls, lovestruck artist breaking everything in sight… these were certainly tired old references in 1952), I found it hard to invest in it to any great extent.

As an omnibus (three short stories from Guy de Maupassant) it is an odd structure: a rather long story flanked by micro story up front and a longer short story at the end. The omnibus is one of the harder forms to pull off. This one I would rank as relatively successful, given the content.

Next up is a gritty political thriller. Let’s see how that goes.


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