Listen to our Dangerous Liaisons episode on:
- Google Play
- Player FM
- Pocket Casts
The late 80s were a good time for Glenn Close. Following the global success of Fatal Attraction in 1987, she scored another hit and her second consecutive Best Actress Oscar nomination with Dangerous Liaisons. Directed by Stephen Frears and adapted from the popular French novel, the movie saw Close playing another compelling screen villain – although the icy manipulations of the Marquise de Merteuil are a world away from Alex Forrest’s bunny boiling antics.
The slightly convoluted plot hinges on the sexual power games between Merteuil and her sometime lover Valmont, played to sinister by John Malkovich. Merteul challenges Valmont to seduce not one but two innocent women – a naive bride to be played by Uma Thurman, and a devout religious wife played by Michelle Pfeiffer. Both seductions do indeed take place, but wouldn’t you know it, love – or a perverse imitation of it – ends up getting in the way.
It’s fair to say that this kind of highly verbal period drama, with its flowery dialogue and tangled interpersonal relationships, isn’t everyone’s idea of a compelling movie experience. So despite the abundance of wigs, gossip and scandal, we found ourselves a little mixed on this movie. In fact, having sat through everything from Yentl to Sausage Party to Need For Speed, it’s this film that my co-host deemed the most boring he’s ever watched for this podcast. Oh well, you can’t win ’em all.
Despite this less than stellar review, we had a lot of fun unpicking the plot and mulling over some of the more offbeat casting decisions – from a be-wigged Peter Capaldi to a distractingly out of his depth Keanu Reeves. And by the end of the episode, I think I’d mounted a pretty good defence of a movie I actually find both funny and powerful. And certainly better than sodding Love Actually.
Judge for yourself by downloading this week’s episode by clicking the links at the top of this blog post, or by searching for Beyond The Box Set on your preferred podcasting app. You can also subscribe for free to receive a new episode every Friday morning. If you like the show, please consider rating and reviewing us, it really helps us to build our listenership.
Next week, I attempt to claw back some Glenn goodwill with a look at one of her campiest performances in a classic 90s sci fi. Until then, happy listening and remember… they’re not booing, they’re saying boo-urns. Or something.