Sex and sunlight are on ample display in Betty Blue
, director Jean-Jacques Beineix's passionate look at mad love. (Every French director is contractually required to make at least one movie about l'amour fou.) It begins at the seashore, where handyman and failed novelist Zorg (Jean-Hugues Anglade) has his life electrified by Betty, a woman whose sense of abandon frequently tips over into the pathological. This was the role that introduced gap-toothed, voluptuous Beatrice Dalle to the world, and neither Dalle nor the world has ever quite recovered. Traces of Beineix's preciousDiva
are still present, though this is a darker and more memorable ride, especially in the three-hour "version integrale" that restores an hour of footage. Its copious nude scenes are a drawing card, but stick around for the age-old alchemy of life translated into art. Gabriel Yared's score is a favorite of movie-soundtrack mavens, especially its haunting piano theme. --Robert Horton
A Shocking And Offbeat Story Of Two French Lovers, Zorg (Jean-Hugues Anglade) And Betty (Beatrice Dalle), Who Fall Into A Deeply Erotic And All-Encompassing Relationship. Zorg Is A Simple Repairman In His Mid-Thirties Who Lives A Relatively Dull Life In A Remote, Weathered Shack Until He Meets Betty, A Sexy, Mercurial Younger Woman Who Challenges His Way Of Thinking And Forces Him To Change His Life. When Betty And Zorg Are Not Having Wild And Uninhibited Sex (And Joyously Traipsing Around Naked), Zorg Is Writing His Novel, An Unpublished Masterwork That Betty Discovers And Vehemently Champions. Betty, Prone To Violent Fits Of Passionate Rage, Attacks Zorg'S Boss And Burns Their Shack Down, Leaving Zorg No Choice But To Join Her On A Series Of Spirited Adventures. They Move In With Betty'S Best Friend And Her Boyfriend And For A Brief Time Live A Happy Bohemian Lifestyle, Wild And Crazy In Love. But As The Film Progresses, Betty'S Mental Illness Becomes More Apparent, She Lives In A Fitful Manic World Of Passionate Highs And Lows While Zorg Desperately Attempts To Coddle And Comfort Her. Finally, The Lovers Start Over In A Dreamy Rural Town, Hoping To Live A Normal Life, But Betty'S Fantasy World Encroaches On Her Reality As She Slowly Spirals Out Of Control In This Intense Story Of Love And Lust, Based On The Novel By Philippe Djian.