Best Movies by Farr
La Belle Noiseuse Poster
Released Runtime Category
1991 240 Drama, Foreign Language
Director Language
Jacques Rivette French
Michel Piccoli, Emmanuelle Beart, Jane Birkin

La Belle Noiseuse

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What's it About

Fallow and unproductive for almost ten years, 60-year-old painter Edouard Frenhofer (Piccoli) lives in the French countryside with his wife and muse, Liz (Birkin), though his last major work-a nude study of Liz entitled "The Beautiful Nuisance"-lies unfinished. When he confides to protegé Nicholas (David Burzstein) that his career has finally come to an end, the young man suggests that Edouard ask his gorgeous girlfriend Marianne (Beart) to model. Edouard agrees, and thus begins an intensely intimate, often contentious working relationship.

Why we love it

Rivette's extraordinary drama about a famous artist who feels his well of talent has dried up examines the mysteries and passions that attend the artistic process, and the obsessive intimacy that often develops between painter and model. In a role that demanded a solid, mature, weighty presence, Piccoli is magnificent as Edouard, while Beart is simply ravishing in an equally demanding, robust performance. Expertly and patiently directed by Rivette, who hones in on the mundane details of creating a masterly artwork — the painstaking applications of ink and oil, the methodical refinement of technique — "La Belle Noiseuse" is, quite simply, an enthralling experience. (If a four-hour viewing time deters you, by all means watch it in two parts.)

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BEST MOVIES BY FARR is your personal guide to great movies to rent, stream, or buy; to watch at home or on-the-go. Led by film advocate John Farr, the Best Movies by Farr team works as a "quality filter" for the discerning moviegoer. Every day, we bring you the best of the best, the fantastic familiar films and hidden gems, to answer that age-old question: "What should we watch tonight?"