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Mixed or average reviews - based on 14 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 4 Ratings

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  • Starring: ,
  • Summary: Based on the novel Les Liaisons Dangereuses, Valmont (Firth) seduces a young lady on a bet from his former lover.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 14
  2. Negative: 3 out of 14
  1. Forman's treatment is another matter entirely - infinitely more subtle and, using the intrinsic bias of film, far more naturalistic. [18 Nov 1989]
  2. 88
    The Frears version is cerebral and claustrophobic, an exercise in sexual mindplay.
  3. 88
    The film is rapturously beautiful, enticing us into a lush, aristocratic world.
  4. Reviewed by: Staff (Not Credited)
    60
    Milos Forman's meticulously produced Valmont is an extremely well-acted period piece that suffers from stately pacing and lack of dramatic high points.
  5. Reviewed by: Staff (Not Credited)
    50
    Milo Forman's Valmont is the weakest version so far, suffering from willfully wrongheaded casting, a comic-strip "free" adaptation by former Luis Bunuel collaborator Jean-Claude Carriere, and Forman's heavy-handed direction of material that requires the most sophisticated glancing touch.
  6. The results are too pretty and well acted to be a total washout, but the fascination with evil and power that gives the novel intensity is virtually absent; what remains is mainly petty malice and mild cynicism.
  7. 20
    With its callow cast and playful tone, there is nothing dangerous about Forman's variation on the novelist's schemes.

See all 14 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Mar 22, 2011
    6
    Another attempt to film Les Liaisons Dangereuses. Valmont was released just one year after Stephen Frears's Dangerous Liaisons, this time directed by Milos Forman. This was Forman's next film after Amadeus and even brings along Jeffrey Jones, Ian McNiece, and Vicent Schiavelli to you remind you just how good Amadeus was. Well, Valmont is no Amadeus. In fact, it is not even Dangerous Liaisons.

    The story is very similar. This time, a very young Colin Firth tries Valmont but unfortunately is compared to John Malkovich from the previous year's film. Firth is great, but Malkovich was Valmont. There is also a very young and new Annette Bening as Marquise de Merteuil and she definitely pales in comparison to Glenn Close's Marquise. Valmont is missing the bite and sting of the dialogue which this story is made for. The verbal sparring between Valmont and the Marquise should be dialogue the audience remembers afterwards for its cleverness, but this iteration lacks the tension and the smarts. Milos Forman could have easily used the same costumes and set design he used in Amadeus, but Valmont just seems lazy compared to that effort. For newcomers to this story, watch Dangerous Liaisons instead. Watch Cruel Intentions for a laugh if you want the next generation's attempt at it.
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