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Perfume Of Yvonne, The 
Written by: on June 21st, 2009


Theatrical Release Date: France, 1994
Director: Patrice Leconte
Writers: Patrice Leconte, Patrick Modiano
Cast: Jean-Pierre Marielle, Hippolyte Girardot, Sandra Majani, Richard Bohringer, Paul Guers, Corinne Marchand, Philippe Magnan, Claude Derepp, Claude Aufaure, Isabelle Tinard, Luc Palun, Didier Lafaye, Louis-Marie Audubert, Marie Cosnay, Jean-Paul Nicolaï, Mattias Nilsson, Brigitte Petit, Josephine Sourdel, Brenda Clark, Arsène Jiroyan, Laurence Lerel, Raphaël Simonet

DVD released: May 19th, 2009
Approximate running time: 90 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Rating: NR
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono French
Subtitles: English
DVD Release: Severin Films
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $29.95


An intriguing study of colorful though rather aimless characters who specialize in nothing in particular. The emphasis is on experience rather than accomplishment. Young blonde Yvonne is beautiful, mysterious, and elegantly sensual. She displays a youthful naivete as she floats through life. It is good that she has the protector, Meinthe, a much older man who is also a free spirit and offers her companionship, a father figure, and who is not attracted sexually to her because he is gay. The main plot is the attempted and aborted love affair of the young couple. A subplot is the older Meinthe’s flamboyant, overt, and sometimes violent approach to life played out in dramatic portrayal of masculine homosexuality amidst its struggles in the Europe of the late 1950s.

The movie is worth watching for the beauty of the unfolding relationship between Yvonne and Victor. One that is as penetrating as it is ephemeral. The movie shows us how to enjoy the moment. The mansions, resort hotels, and lakeside locations are relaxing and provide the appropriate backdrop for Yvonne who in her youthful way at times brings Marilyn Monroe and Grace Kelly to mind. It would also be worth watching the movie just to see the sex scenes themselves. They are a natural and peaceful portrayal of a young couple discovering one another. The sex scenes are very appealing which is what you would expect from the director of “The Hairdresser’s Husband,” Patrice Leconte.

The DVD:

A very nice anamorphic widescreen print in French with English subtitles. An interview with the director picks up where the one on Hairdresser’s Husband leaves off.

A romance that steers clear of ‘soap opera hell’ and can be enjoyed by couples as cautionary tale – don’t get lost in your own desires. Might be disappointing for those expecting the intense emotional peaks and valleys of Girl On The Bridge or the whimsical charm of The Hairdresser’s Husband. Definitely a film that benefits from multiple viewings for full appreciation.

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