In 1760, the Marquise de Merteuil (played by Glenn Close) has a lot of spare time on her hands. She lives for the excitement of intrigue, revenge and passion but she has had a string of unsuccessful relationships, which has made her a lonely, spiteful and mischevious woman. To entertain herself, she decides to create some trouble between a young and virtuous woman called Cecile de Volanges (by Uma Thurman) and her betrothed [Gercourt]. She persuades her ex-lover, Vicomte de Valmont (by John Malkovich) to seduce Cecile before her wedding day, thus publicly humiliating Gercourt. However, Valmont is just as conniving and counters this with an offer to sleep with the beautiful, married, and God-fearing Madame de Tourvel (by Michelle Pfeiffer) – but only if the reward is a night in the Marquise’s own bed – she agrees (thinking this will be impossible for him) and insists that he provides proof for her. Valmont progresses with both conquests – but he develops a set of morals along the way, which causes the Marquise de Merteuil to become even more bitter and vindictive. There are life-changing consequences for everyone involved …
This is basically a French soap opera. Glenn Close and John Malkovich are excellent as these characters and it is clearly an adaptation of a play. The costumes are wonderful and the music is divine. You will probably enjoy the youthful, fresh face of Keanu Reeves as Decany also. The movie itself – it’s not a soaring passionate love story, nor a tradgedy, but it’s okay.
The movie won three Academy (Oscar) Awards in 1988 for Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Best Costume Design and Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium. It is adapted from French author Francois Choderlos de Laclos’ 1782 novel “Les Liasons Dangeureuses”
Made in 1988. Directed by Stephen Frears