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Storyline:   "The Lover" (1992) is a romantic drama film directed by Jean-Jacques Annaud, based on the semi-autobiographical novel of the same name by Marguerite Duras. Set in 1929 French colonial Vietnam, the film tells the story of a passionate and forbidden love affair between a young French girl from a financially strained family and a wealthy Chinese lover. The protagonist, known simply as "the Young Girl," comes from a French family struggling with financial difficulties in Vietnam. Her family hopes to arrange a marriage for her to a wealthy young man, but her life takes an unexpected turn when she meets and falls in love with a wealthy, older Chinese lover known as "the Chinaman." Despite the vast cultural and social differences between them, the Young Girl and the Chinaman embark on a passionate and secret love affair. The film explores the complexities of their relationship, including the challenges posed by societal expectations, racial prejudices, and the vast economic divide.

"The Lover" is a visually stunning film that delves into themes of love, desire, and societal expectations. The lush and evocative cinematography captures the beauty of colonial Vietnam, providing a backdrop to the forbidden romance. The narrative is driven by the Young Girl's introspective voiceover, reflecting on the complexities of her emotions and the challenges of navigating a love that defies societal norms. The film skillfully weaves together elements of romance and drama, creating a poignant and visually captivating exploration of a love affair that transcends social and cultural boundaries. "The Lover" is celebrated for its sensuality, emotional depth, and its portrayal of a love that persists in the face of societal constraints. It remains a notable entry in the romantic drama genre, offering a unique and memorable exploration of love in a complex and culturally rich setting.
The Lover
Year : 1992
IMDB Rating: 7
Director: Jean-Jacques Annaud
Top Billing Cast:  Jane March as The Young Girl Jeanne Moreau as Narrator Melvil Poupaud as The Younger Brother

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The Lover Trivia

  1. Jane March's portrayal of a European teenager having an affair with a Chinese man in Vietnam stirred controversy, with March, who is of partial Chinese and Vietnamese descent, facing intense scrutiny and false rumors of real-life intimacy with co-star Tony Ka Fai Leung.

  2. Despite director Jean-Jacques Annaud falsely implying real sex in the film to boost publicity, all intimate scenes were carefully choreographed with body doubles, leading to a tumultuous experience for Jane March, who suffered a nervous breakdown and fled to the Seychelles to escape the tabloid frenzy.

  3. The Motion Picture Association of America initially gave the film an NC-17 rating, but after appeals and three minutes of cuts, it was changed to an R rating, with arguments that the edited version was no more explicit than the 1992 thriller Basic Instinct.

  4. Director Jean-Jacques Annaud discovered 16-year-old British model Jane March, who had no prior acting experience, through an ad in a teen fashion magazine, marking her debut in the film.

  5. While adapting Marguerite Duras' novel, the film's creators changed the age of "The Girl" from 15½ to 17, maintaining the original structure and literary tone while depicting her character's lie about her age.

  6. Cécile Fleury's role as Jane March's body double for nude scenes sparked controversy, with conflicting statements from Fleury and Renn Productions, claiming her involvement was either for technical purposes or as a stand-in during scene setups.

  7. Director Jean-Jacques Annaud initially considered filming in Vietnam but faced challenges with the country's conditions. After scouting other locations, he returned to Vietnam, making the film the first Western production shot in the country since its reunification in 1975.

  8. Milla Jovovich, Fairuza Balk, and Samantha Mathis auditioned for the role of the Young Girl, which ultimately went to Jane March.

  9. The movie, shot between January and July 1991, depicted Jane March, then 17 or 18, in nude and intimate scenes, sparking discussions about age and consent in film.

  10. Director Jean-Jacques Annaud's careful choreography of the sex scenes aimed to make them appear believable, contributing to the film's controversial and provocative nature.

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