Chéri (2009) Poster

Chéri (2009)

  • Rate: 6.1/10 total 4,999 votes 
  • Genre: Comedy | Drama | Romance
  • Release Date: 8 April 2009 (Belgium)
  • Runtime: USA:86 min | Germany:100 min (Berlin International Film Festival) | USA:92 min | Argentina:92 min
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Chéri (2009)


Chri 2009tt1179258.jpg poster

  • IMDb page: Chéri (2009)
  • Rate: 6.1/10 total 4,999 votes 
  • Genre: Comedy | Drama | Romance
  • Release Date: 8 April 2009 (Belgium)
  • Runtime: USA:86 min | Germany:100 min (Berlin International Film Festival) | USA:92 min | Argentina:92 min
  • Filming Location: Biarritz, Pyrénées-Atlantiques, France
  • Budget: $23,000,000(estimated)
  • Gross: $2,684,051(USA)(16 August 2009)
  • Director: Stephen Frears
  • Stars: Michelle Pfeiffer, Rupert Friend and Kathy Bates
  • Original Music By: Alexandre Desplat   
  • Sound Mix: Dolby Digital
  • Plot Keyword: Courtesan | Love | France | Mansion | Marriage

Writing Credits By:

  • Christopher Hampton (written by)
  • Colette (novels "Chéri" and "The Last of Chéri")

Known Trivia

  • When the project was in development during the 1990s, Jessica Lange planned to star as Léa de Lonval.
  • Iben Hjejle was personally called up by director Stephen Frears and didn’t know she was going to star opposite big Hollywood names before she began filming her first scene.
  • Terrence McNally wrote the role of Frankie in the play “Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune” especially for Kathy Bates. When it came to casting the role for the movie version Frankie and Johnny, Bates lost the role to Michelle Pfeiffer, her co-star in this movie.
  • French visa # 120988.

Goofs: Miscellaneous: In the closing credits, 'thanks' are given to France's national railway, the Societe National Chemin de Fer, known as the "SNCF". However the credits have the letters out of sequence, calling it the "SCNF".

Plot: The son of a courtesan retreats into a fantasy world after being forced to end his relationship with the older woman who educated him in the ways of love. Full summary »  »

Story: During France's belle époque before World War I, elegant cars, mansions, and servants defined the lives of les grandes horizontals, the courtesans of kings and millionaires. One of the most successful, Lea de Lonval, is approaching a certain age when an older associate, Charlotte Peloux, asks Lea to take on her 19 year old son, whom Lea has called Chéri since he was a child. They become lovers and, to their surprise, the relationship lasts six years. When it ends abruptly with a marriage his mother arranges to the daughter of another courtesan, Lea finds herself miserable. Has she fallen in love? If so, do she — and Chéri – have any choices?Written by <>  


Synopsis: A sumptuous dramatic comedy set in late 19th Century France, during the Belle Epoque, a period of social and cultural excess in European upper classes which ended only as the First World War erupted. (It is NOT set in 1920s as the IMDb synopsis says. After the war the social environment was quite, quite different.) Costumes, set pieces, cinematography all embrace the delicious and beautiful in this story of courtesans of a certain age whose lives, now more concerned with grown children and investments in oil rather than in men, live in great luxury and wealth. When (still ravishing) Pfeiffer becomes reacquainted with her erstwhile friend’s 19 year son, (also incredibly ravishing), the two begin an often haunting, life long journey steeped in love, lust, jealousy and desire. They are soul mates and their story bites deep into the tragic and the hilarious.Direction, script and acting, by all major players and even the minor ones, are all first rate. Tastefully sexy and sensual, sad and lovely and funny all at once, a film to capture awards and hearts worldwide.

It is turn of the century in Belle Epoque Paris and a scandalous romp is underfoot. The tale begins as the ravishing Lea contemplates retirement from her renowned stature as Paris’s most envied seductress to the rich and famous. Her plans are cut short when she is approached by a former courtesan and arch rival, the barb-throwing gossip Charlotte Peloux, who encourages Lea to teach her disaffected 19 year-old son a thing or two about women. The resulting escapades involve power struggles over sex, money, age and society — and unexpectedly, love itself — as a boy who refuses to grow up collides with a woman who realizes she cannot stay young forever. [D-Man2010]


FullCast & Crew

Produced By:

  • Raphaël Benoliel known as co-producer
  • Raphaël Benoliel known as line producer: France (as Raphaél Benoliel)
  • Simon Fawcett known as executive producer
  • Marco Gilles known as associate producer: Germany
  • Bastian Griese known as co-producer (as Bastie Griese)
  • Andras Hamori known as producer
  • Christopher Hampton known as executive producer
  • François Ivernel known as executive producer
  • Bill Kenwright known as producer
  • Daniel Mann known as associate producer: Germany
  • Cameron McCracken known as executive producer
  • Thom Mount known as producer
  • Ralf Schmitz known as co-producer
  • Tracey Seaward known as producer
  • Richard Temple known as executive producer

FullCast & Crew:

  • Michelle Pfeiffer known as Léa de Lonval
  • Frances Tomelty known as Rose
  • Tom Burke known as Vicomte Desmond
  • Rupert Friend known as Fred Peloux nicknamed Chéri
  • Hubert Tellegen known as Ernest
  • Joe Sheridan known as Marcel
  • Kathy Bates known as Charlotte Peloux
  • Toby Kebbell known as Patron
  • Felicity Jones known as Edmée
  • Iben Hjejle known as Marie Laure
  • Alain Churin known as Priest
  • Bette Bourne known as Baronne
  • Nichola McAuliffe known as Madame Aldonza
  • Andras Hamori known as Silver Haired Industrialist
  • Gaye Brown known as Lili
  • Rollo Weeks known as Guido
  • Jack Walker known as Monsieur Roland
  • Natasha Cashman known as Madame Roland
  • Anita Pallenberg known as La Copine
  • Harriet Walter known as La Loupiote
  • Jim Bywater known as Clerk
  • Stephen Frears known as Narrator (voice) (uncredited)
  • Junix Inocian known as Chinese Man (uncredited)
  • John Sehil known as Le bagagiste de l'hotel (uncredited)



Supporting Department

Makeup Department:
  • Rachel Aboulkheir known as hair stylist: crowd
  • Rachel Aboulkheir known as makeup artist: crowd
  • Carol Hemming known as personal hair stylist: Ms Pfeiffer
  • Joe Hopker known as hair stylist
  • Joe Hopker known as makeup artist
  • Daniel Phillips known as hair designer
  • Daniel Phillips known as makeup designer
  • Tony Rocchetti known as hair stylist: crowd
  • Tapio Salmi known as hair stylist supervisor
  • Tapio Salmi known as makeup supervisor

Art Department:

  • Olivier Agostini known as props swing gang: France
  • Hinnerk Ahrens known as carpenter: Germany
  • Anthony Andia-Wayntraub known as assistant art director: France
  • Sabine Auenhaus known as head sculptor: Germany
  • Céline Barray known as star greenswoman: France
  • Markus Baum known as carpenter: Germany
  • Didier Bautz known as head plasterer: France
  • Achim Beimann known as painter: Germany (as Achim Reimann)
  • Patrick Bertron known as plasterer: France
  • Klaus Bienen known as carpenter: Germany
  • Klaus Bienen known as stand-by carpenter: Germany
  • Karine Bizet known as greensperson: France
  • Jan Patrick Brandt known as painter: Germany
  • Uwe Brauer known as painter: Germany
  • Margaret Brockel known as flowers: Germany
  • Patrick Buisson known as stagehand: France
  • Mieke Casal known as head painter: Germany
  • Mieke Casal known as stand-by painter: Germany
  • Laurent Champoux known as painter: France
  • Pascal Chevé known as plasterer: France (as Pascal Cheve)
  • Charlie Cobb known as artist
  • Olivier Crespin known as stand-by props: France
  • Jean Dalmasso known as props swing gang: France
  • Marine Decaux known as props swing gang trainee: France
  • Patrick Dubois known as props swing gang: France
  • Martine Dupont known as drapesperson: France
  • Benoît Dupuis known as scenic painter: France
  • Pierre Maxime Duval known as assistant stand-by props: France (as Pierre-Maxime Duval)
  • Stefan Dörsch known as carpenter: Germany (as Stefan Doersch)
  • Ralf Eggebrett known as carpenter: Germany
  • Frank Ehlers known as construction foreman: Germany
  • Aude Frechou known as painter trainee: France
  • Anja Fromm known as assistant art director: Germany
  • Stephanie Frost known as sculptor: Germany
  • Pierre Galic known as painter: Germany
  • Olivier Garand known as scenic painter: France
  • Gilles Geraud known as propsman: France (as Gilles Géraud)
  • Alain Guffroy known as art director: France
  • Valérie Guilbaud known as assistant art director: France
  • Bertrand Guinnebault known as head painter: France
  • Markus Günther known as painter: Germany (as Marcus Guenther)
  • Anne Habermann known as sculptor: Germany
  • Kalle Hahnel known as upholsterer: Germany
  • Yvan Hart known as plasterer: France
  • Armin Hartenstein known as painter: Germany
  • Michael Heck known as carpenter: Germany
  • Thomas Henshen known as head construction manager: Germany
  • Marlene Herve known as set decoration trainee: France (as Marléne Hervé)
  • Soizic Hervé known as set decoration buyer
  • Marei Hitzler known as assistant art director: Germany
  • Wolfgang Hoffmann known as carpenter: Germany
  • Nele Jordan known as assistant set decorator: Germany
  • Daniel Kalinke known as carpenter: Germany
  • Thorsten Klein known as draughtsperson: Germany
  • Petra Klimek known as prop master: Germany
  • André Knopp known as carpenter: Germany
  • Thorsten Krueger known as graphic artist: Germany
  • Hendrik Labuhn known as construction manager: Germany
  • Jean-Louis Lacarra known as carpenter: France
  • Geraldine Laferte known as assistant set decorator: France
  • Ulrich Langenberg known as carpenter: Germany
  • Françoise Legrand known as drapesperson: France
  • Jerome Deligat Legrand known as drapesperson: France (as Jérome Deligat-Legrand)
  • Karoline Deligat Legrand known as drapesperson: France (as Karoline Deligat-Legrand)
  • Thomas Lemierre known as props swing gang trainee: France
  • Pawel Lokczewski known as greensperson: France
  • Bruno Lousteau known as head carpenter: France
  • David Lowery known as stand-by carpenter: UK (as Dave Lowery)
  • Lisa Lukas known as painter: Germany
  • Vincent Maroutian known as painter: France
  • Jean Miel known as props swing gang: France
  • Campbell Mitchell known as chargehand stand-by props: France
  • Inga Molsberger known as sculptor: Germany
  • Joachim Monninger known as construction coordinator: Germany
  • Joachim Mueller known as carpenter: Germany
  • Christophe Niaux known as propsman: France
  • Catherine Palmer known as art department researcher: UK
  • Daniel Peeck known as assistant set decorator: Germany
  • Irene Piel known as draughtsperson: Germany
  • Bjoern Poppinga known as sculptor: Germany
  • Francois Poublan known as assistant stand-by props: France
  • Thierry Poulet known as assistant art director: France
  • Jan Ptassek known as sculptor: Germany (as Jan Ptassak)
  • Arnaud Putman known as prop storeman: France
  • Arnaud Putman known as props buyer: France
  • Patrick Quartier known as scenic painter: France
  • Doriano Quintavalle known as carpenter: Germany
  • Jari Rich known as greensperson: France
  • Virginie Robichon known as art department assistant: France
  • François Roux known as head sculptor: France
  • Marc Rovere known as propsman: France (as Marc Rovére)
  • Bruno Sailord known as props swing gang: France
  • Vianney Santrot known as carpenter: France (as Vianney Saintrot)
  • Britta Sassmannshausen known as painter: Germany (as Britta Saßmannshausen)
  • Dieter Schmidt known as carpenter: Germany
  • Georg Schneider known as glazier: Germany
  • Volker Schäfer known as art director: Germany
  • Thierry Segur known as storyboard artist: France (as Thierry Ségur)
  • Steve Sibley known as stand-by painter: UK
  • Najib Sobhi known as painter: France
  • Heike Steen known as assistant set decorator: Germany
  • Richard Steinberg known as carpenter: Germany
  • Uli Tegetmeier known as prop buyer: Germany
  • Benoît Tetelin known as art department assistant: France
  • Nick Thomas known as props: UK
  • Steffi Treiber known as sculptor: Germany
  • Mena Vennen known as stand-by props: Germany
  • Caroline Vion known as set decoration trainee: France
  • Andreas Walther known as construction foreman: Germany (as Andreas Walter)
  • Christian Weber known as carpenter: Germany
  • Christian Weber known as stand-by carpenter: Germany
  • Jeanne dit Fouque Damien known as graphic designer (uncredited)




Production Companies:

  • Bill Kenwright Films (presents) (as BKL Films)
  • Pathé (in association with)
  • UK Film Council (in association with)
  • Aramid Entertainment Fund (in association with) (as Aramid Entertainment)
  • MMC Studios (with the participation of)
  • Filmstiftung Nordrhein-Westfalen (with the participation of)
  • Deutsche Filmförderfonds (DFFF) (with the participation of)
  • Tiggy Films (with the participation of)
  • Cheri Productions (with the participation of)
  • Erste MMC-Production (with the participation of)
  • France 3 Cinéma (in co-production with)
  • Canal+ (with the participation of)
  • Banque Populaire Images 9 (with the participation of)
  • Région Ile-de-France (with the support of)
  • Centre National de la Cinématographie (CNC) (with the support of)

Other Companies:

  • Premier PR  publicity (Berlin and UK)
  • Abbey Road Studios  music recorded and mixed at
  • Aerial Camera Systems  helicopter gyrostabilized camera system
  • Apollo Productions / AAR Digital  advertising and promotions
  • Cartier  thanks (jewellery courtesy of)
  • Cinegate  camera and grip equipment
  • Coupure Déjeuner  catering
  • De Lane Lea  adr recording facility
  • De Lane Lea  post-production sound services
  • De Lane Lea  sound re-recording
  • Deluxe Digital London  digital intermediate
  • Feasible Films  epk
  • Firstep Productions  production services
  • Foreign Office  titles
  • Fugitive Studios  end roller
  • Global Music Service  music copying (as Global Music Services)
  • Goldcrest Post Production London  adr recording facility
  • Goldcrest Post Production London  sound post-production
  • Hothouse Music  music supervision
  • L.V.T. Paris  French subtitles: original version with subtitles
  • Le Vestiaire  costume rental
  • Les Ateliers du Costume  costume maker: Ms. Bates (as Atelier du Costume)
  • London Symphony Orchestra, The (LSO)  score performed by
  • Mayflower Studios  adr recording facility
  • Midnight Digital  Dailies
  • Offline Editing Company, The  editing facility (as Offline Editing)
  • One Union Recording Studios  adr recording facility (as One Union Recording)
  • Panavision Alga Techno  camera and grip equipment
  • Pille Filmgeräteverleih  camera dollies
  • Pixelkitchen  post-production facilities
  • Postsums  post-production accounting
  • Premier PR  unit publicity
  • Real World Post  adr recording facility
  • Real World Post  sound re-recording
  • Sapex Scripts  post-production script services
  • Shepperton Studios  thanks
  • Theatrical Shoemakers  footwear
  • Tirelli Costumi  costumes by
  • Translux  facilities
  • Varèse Sarabande  soundtrack
  • Widget Post Production  adr recording facility (as Widget Post)


  • Pathé (2009) (France) (all media)
  • Pathé (2009) (UK) (all media)
  • Prokino Filmverleih (2009) (Germany) (all media)
  • Pathé Video (2009) (UK) (DVD)
  • Fox Pathé Europa (2009) (France) (DVD)
  • Benelux Film Distributors (2009) (Belgium) (theatrical)
  • Benelux Film Distributors (2009) (Luxembourg) (theatrical)
  • Benelux Film Distributors (2009) (Netherlands) (theatrical)
  • CDI Films (2010) (Argentina) (theatrical)
  • Cetera International (2010) (Japan) (theatrical)
  • Equinoxe Films (2009) (Canada) (theatrical) (Québec)
  • Golden Village Pictures (2009) (Singapore) (theatrical)
  • Maple Pictures (2009) (Canada) (theatrical)
  • Audio Visual Enterprises (2009) (Greece) (all media)
  • Bir Film (2009) (Turkey) (all media)
  • California Filmes (2009) (Brazil) (all media)
  • Califórnia Home Vídeo (2010) (Brazil) (DVD)
  • Castello Lopes Multimedia (2009) (Portugal) (all media)
  • Golden Village Entertainment (2009) (Singapore) (all media)
  • IPA Asia Pacific (2009) (Thailand) (all media)
  • IPA Asia Pacific (2009) (Vietnam) (all media)
  • Lumière Home Entertainment (2009) (Belgium) (DVD)
  • Lumière Home Entertainment (2009) (Netherlands) (DVD)
  • Lumière Home Entertainment (2010) (Netherlands) (DVD) (Lumière Cinema Selection)
  • Maple Pictures (2009) (Canada) (DVD)
  • Mars Entertainment (2009) (South Korea) (all media)
  • Maywin Media (2009) (Russia) (all media)
  • Miramax Films (2009) (USA) (all media)
  • Miramax Home Entertainment (2009) (USA) (DVD)
  • Monopole-Pathé (2009) (Switzerland) (all media)
  • Nordisk Film Theatrical Distribution (2009) (Finland) (all media)
  • Rai Cinema (2009) (Italy) (all media)
  • Teleview International (2009) (Lebanon) (all media) (Middle East)
  • Transeuropa Video Entertainment (TVE) (2010) (Argentina) (DVD)
  • Worldwide Entertainment Group (WEG) (2009) (India) (all media)



Other Stuff

Special Effects:

  • Framestore CFC (visual effects)

Visual Effects by:

  • Zishaan Ajmal known as data operations
  • Bradley Bayliss known as data operations
  • Turea Blyth known as visual effects editorial: Framestore
  • Janice Body known as digital cleanup: Deluxe Digital (as Jan Body)
  • Dales Bulleid known as data operations
  • Tabitha Dean known as visual effects editorial: Framestore
  • Paul Doogan known as scanning and recording
  • James D. Fleming known as compositor: Framestore
  • Kyle Goodsell known as compositor: Framestore
  • Dave Hall known as scanning and recording
  • Tim Keene known as visual effects producer: Framestore
  • Peter Logarusic known as digital paint artist: Framestore
  • Martin Macrae known as environment supervisor: Framestore
  • Mark Nelmes known as visual effects supervisor: Framestore
  • Bruce Nelson known as compositor: Framestore
  • Dan Perry known as scanning and recording
  • Sirio Quintavalle known as compositor: Framestore
  • Bob Roach known as scanning and recording
  • Guy Trevers known as scanning and recording
  • Faye Walkington known as data operations
  • Juan Jesus Garcia known as visual effects artist (uncredited)
  • Dave Robinson known as systems engineer (uncredited)
  • Fiona Walkinshaw known as visual effects production director (uncredited)

Release Date:

  • Germany 10 February 2009 (Berlin International Film Festival)
  • Belgium 8 April 2009
  • France 8 April 2009
  • Ireland 8 May 2009
  • UK 8 May 2009
  • Netherlands 2 June 2009 (Amsterdam) (premiere)
  • Australia 12 June 2009 (Sydney Film Festival)
  • Netherlands 25 June 2009
  • Canada 26 June 2009 (limited)
  • USA 26 June 2009 (limited)
  • Germany 30 June 2009 (Munich Film Festival)
  • Australia 23 July 2009
  • Germany 27 August 2009
  • Italy 28 August 2009
  • Finland 29 August 2009 (Espoo Film Festival)
  • Finland 11 September 2009
  • New Zealand 17 September 2009
  • Portugal 24 September 2009
  • Norway 2 October 2009
  • Singapore 15 October 2009
  • Lebanon 5 November 2009
  • Sweden 6 November 2009
  • Hungary 3 December 2009
  • Israel 24 December 2009
  • Syria 31 December 2009
  • Turkey 1 January 2010
  • Brazil 22 January 2010
  • Hong Kong 27 January 2010 (European Film Festival)
  • Spain 29 January 2010
  • Estonia 19 February 2010
  • Mexico 28 May 2010
  • Poland 25 June 2010
  • Argentina 8 July 2010
  • Venezuela 1 October 2010
  • Japan 16 October 2010
  • Greece 3 February 2011

MPAA: Rated R for some sexual content and brief drug use (MPAA certificate # 45123)



Filmography links and data courtesy of The Internet Movie Database

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Posted on March 30, 2012 by Harry in Movies | Tags: , , , .


  1. carlostallman from Argentina
    30 Mar 2012, 11:24 am

    You can't really tell as far as Stephen Frears is concerned. After thesensational "The Queen" another film that is only slightly moretolerable than the dreadful "Mrs Henderson Presents" Here Rupert Friendin the title role is a delightful throwback to Oscar Wilde territory.You understand Pfeiffer loosing her head for him but not why he looseshis for her. She's certainly beautiful but lifeless. She looks moredistant than ever, struggling to find the tone of her performance andI'm afraid she never does. Not a glimpse of the Pfeiffer from "The AgeOf Innocence" or even "The Fabulous Baker Boys" No sense of period orof intention. Kathy Bates is an annoying over the top caricature butRuper Friend is the oasis that makes the aridity of this nonsense trulybearable. I had seen him before, most remarkably, in another story withanother older woman, Joan Plowright in "Mrs Palfrey At The Claremont"He is an actor with, clearly, a few aces up his sleeve and I bet hewill dazzle us with other surprises in the future. Here he's badlyserved by his director, co-stars costume designer, make up and hair andin spite of that he emerges as the only reason to see this film.

  2. gradyharp from United States
    30 Mar 2012, 11:24 am

    Stephen Frears has created some powerful and very well crafted movies:'Dangerous Liaisons', 'My Beautiful Laundrette', 'The Grifters', 'TheQueen', 'Prick up your Ears', 'Dirty Pretty Things', etc. One wouldexpect that his experience in dealing with edgy issues would make himthe perfect choice for adapting the famous French writer of 'naughtynovels' – Colette – but somewhere in the flow of this production,perhaps in the Christopher Hampton's adaptation of the novel toscreenplay, the original stories become perfumed and sanitized. And thereasons why this happened remain obscure.

    The story is simple: courtesans in Paris must eventually retire formtheir lives of becoming wealthy through pleasing men of the higherclass, and either they live out their lives in the luxuries of fluff orthey must confront their aging and feel pangs of remorse as they endtheir lives alone, without a man to bolster them. Lea de Lonval(Michelle Pfeiffer) has been longtime 'friends' with Madame Peloux(Kathy Bates), even to the point of nurturing Madame's son Chéri(Rupert Friend) as he approaches manhood. Madame asks Lea to 'polish'Chéri for other women and after what might have been a brief fling inNormandy, the young Chéri and the aging Lea fall into a six yearrelationship. But as Madame realizes she needs grandchildren, sheeventually finds a proper girl Edmee (Felicity Jones) for Chéri tomarry. The remainder of the story is how these two age-disparatecharacters adapt to the 'social rules' of La Belle Epoque, suggestingthat even under extraordinary circumstances the power of love is anissue that must be confronted.

    Despite the performances by Pfeiffer and Friend (and even the miscastBates) the story feels somehow sterile. Perhaps it is the out of placeuse of a male narrator who gives the film an unnecessary feeling ofbeing a documentary, or the somewhat overused musical score ofAlexandre Desplat, or the emphasis on costumes that hardly add to thebeauty of Pfeiffer as Lea that keep the production grounded. It is apleasant enough film, but hardly a memorable one. Grady Harp

  3. john-575 from Melbourne, Australia
    30 Mar 2012, 11:24 am

    The Classic Cinema in Elsternwick (Melbourne) Australia go to a certainamount of trouble with movie previews. So yesterday with Cheri we had aviolinist playing in the cinema before the preview session, acomplimentary afternoon tea.. normally a box of cakes and goodies (butonly a single one yesterday), a range of teas in yesterday's case (nocoffee). In the past a glass of champagne has been offered andsometimes there are lucky seats with prizes under them.

    So perhaps no coffee yesterday was a forerunner of what was to come.The list of cons is sadly far greater than the pros

    CONS The relationship between Michelle Pfeiffers character and RupertFriends character is I am sorry to say more like Aunty and nephew.There's a passion missing here. Are they out lunching or enjoying otherpleasures? No it's all indoors and not very exciting to watch at all.Ms Pfeiffer has wonderful hair, carries her age well (50 is not old),has perhaps nice back assuming no body doubles. But for me neither sheor her character are not warm enough or sensual enough. In fact thelady I sat next to a cinema had more ooh la la. And she was a payingcustomer like us! And on the plus side of 60. Rupert Friend as someonehere alluded to was too Olivia Bloom like, foppish almost gay if youlike. His dark hair and pale skin gave him a very unhealthy allure.

    Set in pre WW1 Paris and France I was looking forward to a variety ofold veteran cars (only 3 in the whole show… perhaps the vehiclebudget was limited.. surely there must be more veteran cars in France).The Edwardian style fashions I love but for these give me the GreatRace 1965 style. Sadly there was no Mademsoielle Dubois here (NatalieWood) to carry this off yet the period was the same.

    One of the problems with Cheri is it lacked oxygen, location,recreations of pre WW1 France, any sense of movement timewise andromance on any level. In many ways the film was shot like a play. A fewdifferent sets mainly indoors but little of interest outdoors. Verytightly framed shots of gravel driveways in stately old homes… fullstop.

    Regarding the other courtesans with the exception of Cheri's wifesmother these were not a very stunning lot. Kathy Bates as a courtesan?Surely no man would pay serious money for her pleasures unless thesupply of other courtesans was very short. Clearly these 19th century,20th century gentlemen were either too free with their money or notfussy enough?

    Perhaps Stephen Frears should have stayed on his side of the EnglishChannel. Mrs Henderson presents was quite enjoyable… it did have JudiDench, Bob Hoskins and the lovely Kelly Reilly.

    Cheri should clearly have been left to the French, done with Frenchactors and actresses in French with English sub-titles. What we havehere sadly is about as French as McDonalds and must surely be a lostopportunity. Very disappointing.

  4. simona gianotti from Italy
    30 Mar 2012, 11:24 am

    "Cheri" is the nickname given by Lea (Michelle Pfeiffer) to the young,much younger Fred, whom she brings to discover the truth aboutlovemaking, and unintentionally but inevitably, about loving. The actorplaying Fred is handsome, attractive, but who really hits the sign (asusually, I would say) is Michelle Pfeiffer, who proved to be verycourageous in playing a role where she constantly repeats to herselfhow old she is. Indeed, her beauty, elegance and refinement are alwaysthere to remind her and us how difficult it is to come to terms withageing, mainly when beauty has been the very essence of your life.

    The plot is almost absent, being the story more based on emotions,moods, sensations, rather than facts, and the movie in the end managesto capture the viewer, thanks to its capability to render the emotionalside through glances and through effective and intense framing of bothcharacters and situations: the last one is incisive, almost paralyzing.

    Ironic and funny moments are not absent, mainly when Cathy Bates,playing the odd, high spirited mother, enters the scene, but theoverall tone is a melancholic one, above all for the female public, wecannot but sympathize with Lea's inner strength, and at the same timefeel moved by her deep suffering. From an aesthetic point of view, themovie is to be visually appreciated for its pleasant settings, itsrefined costumes and in general for a deep care for precious details.

  5. anonanon22 from United Kingdom
    30 Mar 2012, 11:24 am

    Why is this movie rated as 6.2 out of 10? Are people blind? Crowds ofmovie goers flock to Avatar and Alice in Wonderland, and stuff likeCheri are completely overlooked. This is a delicious flick, with agreat unusual and touching romantic story, gorgeous early 20th centuryatmosphere and brilliant interpretations from gorgeous Michele Pfeifferand Kathy Bates. The story flows slow and stylishly like thesurroundings of Belle Epoque and the final is so moving it makes astone cry. Definitely the best movie I saw in 2009 together with BrightStar from Jane Campion. Please go see it and don't believe anyone whotells you otherwise.

  6. isabelle1955 from Brit living in California
    30 Mar 2012, 11:24 am

    There are several very good reasons to see Cheri, directed by StephenFrears and written by Christopher Hampton from the novel by Colette.It's a beautifully made costume drama, shot in some wonderfullocations. It's well scripted (although it does wander off track andget a little rambling in the middle)and it's moderately entertaining,although probably only for a limited audience. But the best reason ofall is to see some really interesting performances from an array ofpredominantly female actors.

    Michelle Pfeiffer makes a very welcome and long overdue return tocenter stage, as Lea de Lonval, a Belle Epoch (ie turn of the 20thcentury) courtesan in Paris. Lea is ready to retire from herprofession, the business of sex, and takes up with the son of a fellowcourtesan, the beautiful, languid Cheri (meaning Darling), not formoney this time but for love. Pfeiffer is radiant in the part, andwatching her is a sheer pleasure.

    Cheri is played by Rupert Friend, who keeps popping up on my radar asone of the more interesting and talented of the young male actorsaround. He seems to be taking his career slowly but carefully, pickingsome interesting roles. I first spotted him in Pride and Prejudice, aswicked Mr Wickham, after which he was excellent in Mrs Palfrey at theClaremont, opposite Joan Plowright. I thought at that time how muchlike Orlando Bloom he looks, but luckily he is a far better actor, andwill, I think, ultimately have a longer shelf life.

    Also fabulous is Kathy Bates as Cheri's mother. It is her plan to marryhim off to Edmee, the young daughter of a fellow courtesan, taking himaway from his true love Lea (his senior by many years) that sets thescene for what will become a tragedy. The courtesans were hugely rich,but lived lives of isolated splendor. Not accepted by polite society,they turned to each other for social interaction, a small, intense andrather incestuous circle. Bates' Madam Peloux needs to marry Cheri offbut has limited options. Edmee, the daughter of another old rival, isavailable. Both are an only child set to inherit large sums of money.Business takes precedence, marriage is a joining of fortunes and lovemeans nothing, leaving everyone unhappy, Edmee, Cheri and Lea.

    Perhaps almost as interesting – or even more so – than this movie'sstory, is the story of Colette herself. The novelist lived from 1873 to1954, married three times, had many lovers of both genders includingher stepson, played the music halls, wrote an opera with Ravel, ran ahospital during WW1 and helped her Jewish friends survive during WW2.She wrote some fifty novels including Gigi, (made into a play and anaward winning musical), and is often referred to as one of France'sgreatest writers.

    And I can't review this movie without saying how quite wonderful it is,for once, to see an older woman entangled with a sexy younger man, andhow rarely we get to see that on screen. Time and time again, we seequite ridiculous age gaps between male stars and much, much youngerwomen. Here, Pfeiffer and Friend make the opposite work perfectly. Iappreciate that costume drama has a fairly limited audience, and thismovie is certainly not perfect, but personally – I loved it!!

  7. FrameXFrame from United States
    30 Mar 2012, 11:24 am

    One of the delights of this film is the lushness and perfection of thesets and costumes of the Belle Époque (c. 1890-1914). The sets andcostumes are so gorgeous they threaten to overwhelm the actors.Threaten, but don't succeed. Michelle Pfeiffer is sensual and beautifulas the aging courtesan Lea—a woman approaching a "certain age," as thenarrator (Stephen Frears) informs us. Lea has known the love andadmiration of the wealthiest men in Europe, many of them titled. Shehas been wise to keep her heart out of her affairs. Then Fred,("Cheri") the son of another courtesan (Kathy Bates) enters Lea's life,and she finds herself caring for the aimless but charming young manmore than she should.

    Kathy Bates is wonderful as Madame Peloux, a former competitor ofLea's—a woman who, if you squint hard (and catch the "portrait" of ayounger Peloux) you can imagine having a gamine charm years before.Bates' acting moves effortlessly from laughing delightedly at smuttygossip to quickly assuming the pouting self-righteous expression of adisapproving mama as she discusses her son. From former courtesan tobourgeois matron in the blink of an eye. Bates carries this quickswitch act off several times in the movie, and it's a pleasure to watchher skill at these rapid changes. The sets and costumes of Mme. Peloux,heavy 2nd Empire furnishings, stiff wired dressed with bustles, arebeautifully contrasted with Lea's lighter look—slender, graceful,light. The clothes each character wears, and the styles of theirrespective homes, gives some subtext to the story. Mme. Peloux, a bitolder than Lea, had her taste formed in an era of overdone stuffypretentiousness, while Lea, a bit younger, has embraced the airy beautyof Art Nouveau.

    The stultifying life of aging and former courtesans iswell-depicted—unwelcome in respectable society they have to fall backon each other's company. Former competitors, they still can't helpsniping at one another. Lea, as one of the youngest of the group, moveslike a sylph among the faded charms of her cohort. One amazing scene:Among a bower of faded courtesans, one of them, a busty brassyred-head, cuddles and squeals like a teenager as she introduces herlover, a young man who's the son of one this woman's "official lovers."As she overwhelms the rather weedy young man with her caresses, theviewer can see Lea's discomfort—seeing the loud red-head and her boylover seems like seeing a grotesque mockery of herself and Cheri.

    Cheri, the title character, is played by Rupert Friend (Prince Albertin "The Young Victoria," and Mr. Wickham in the 2005 version of "Prideand Prejudice"). He's a young man who has only two responsibilities:marry, and manage the large amount of money his mother settles on himat his marriage. He's a young man without purpose, but finds love withLea. What starts as a light-hearted affair turns into a relationshipboth Cheri and Lea need more than they realized. Lea and Cheri's affairends—as does the wonderful era depicted in this gorgeous movie. The warends Lea and Cheri's world. The 20th century starts with bleakness andhardness after the golden afternoon of La Belle Époque. We are indebtedto Collette and Stephen Frears for showing us the loveliness, and eventhe artful decadence, of that time, and we are indebted to the talentedcast for giving life to the "demi-monde" ("half-world") of that era.

  8. louisahc from Beijing, China
    30 Mar 2012, 11:24 am

    I think this commentary does not do justice to the complexity of thetale.

    Cheri's courtesan mother was loving and cheerful? She was no more fitto be a mother than my arm is for the wing of an airplane. Cheri wasorphaned from the beginning because of his mother's profession as wellas the usual self-preoccupation of such great beauties. When she sawfit, she arranged a loveless and mercenary marriage for him. Thewithering realism of this tale about the egotism and cruelty in almostall human relationships is only masked and made palatable by thesparkling wit it is mixed with.

    The movie is by no means perfect, but there is a lot to explore. Iwould not write off Colette and Pfeiffer without attending with a bitmore care.

  9. Chris Knipp from Berkeley, California
    30 Mar 2012, 11:24 am

    'Chéri' is a product of the great English team that created thebrilliant Choderlos de Laclos adaptation 'Dangerous Liasons' (1988),Christopher Hampton the writer, as prolific as he is adept at turningFrench texts into English movies or plays, and Stephen Frears thedirector, who brought us such greatness as (to name a few) 'The Queen,''Dirty pretty Things,' 'The Grifters,' 'Prick Up Your Ears', and thenovelistically rich bisexual story of Pakistanis and Cockneys inLondon, 'My Beautiful Laundrette'. This new film moreover is graced bythe presence of Michelle Pfeiffer in the central part of Colette'saging courtesan Léa de Lonval. Pfeiffer had the pivotal role of Madamede Tourvel in 'Dangerous Liaisons.' Again this is a movie where Frenchpeople speak English, but that worked in the audacious and sumptuousFrears/Hampton 'Dangerous Liaisons,' and it works again here.

    It's two decades later and Hampton, Frears, and Pfeiffer, though theyshow no sign of waning gifts, don't quite bring back the magic; butstill 'Chéri,' adapted from two 1920's short novels by Colette (not asstrong material as de Laclos' epistolary novel), is nicely paced andgorgeous to look at, and Michelle is a wondrously beautifulfifty-year-old and still a delicious actress. Rupert Friend, as Léa'syoung beau Fred Peloux, nicknamed Chéri, isn't too hard on the eyeseither as the young man, though he's a bit difficult to accept as a19-year-old at first (then the study jumps forward to six years later).Friend is actually around 27, and for this role, a decidedlydecadent-looking 27 at that.

    But decadent is what the part calls for. Chéri himself is the son of anextremely rich courtesan. Madame Peloux (Kathy Bates, in elaborate late19th-century garb, playing broadly enough to be Lady Bracknell in 'TheImportance of Being Earnest') has spoiled the boy rotten, he iscompletely lazy, and she turns him over to Léa for training. This hemight have got, except that they belie all but dime novel expectationsand fall madly in love with each other and remain together for sixyears, whereupon Chéri suddenly decides to get married, to Edmée(Felicity Jones), the daughter of another courtesan who has done welloff her lovers, and from then on things get complicated. All throughthe six years of the relationship Léa so adores Chéri, she hasn't thedetachment to train him and just lets him do what he wants.

    Art Nouveau curlicues swirl throughout this beautifully designed film,and Pfeiffer's looks and costumes are marvels of new deco tastes: thestory runs from the end of the Belle Époque to WWI. Relationships withseveral servants become important as they are chatted up and asked foradvice, which sometimes they are smart enough not to give. Urbangardens are absolutely lush in the nineteenth-century manner, and allthe visuals manage to be impossibly rich without being too distracting.But it all begins and ends with the casting, and though Bates'broadness might be obtrusive, it isn't, because her role is relativelysmall. Rupert Friend is wonderfully pale and sickly looking, yet sexy.Chéri is spoiled, and a bit androgynous, as indicated by his constantdesire to wear Léa's pearl necklace, which he says looks just as goodon him.

    Chéri soon tires of his wife, who at eighteen seems indecently young tohim. We know what's going to happen. The only flaw of this enjoyableadaptation is that it happens too fast and the emotional complicationsdon't come across as powerfully as they might, especially when we thinkof the ending of 'Dangerous Liaisons' and Glenn Close's devastatingcollapse in the theater. In his effort to fuse together the two ColetteChéri novels Hampton and Frears rush through the latter stages of thestory. They also have a bit of trouble with tone. Having started out ina light comic vein, they aren't altogether able to modulate into thedarker moods of emotional confusion, disenchantment, and fear of aging.

    The latter is the issue Léa faces all along. Michelle Pfeiffer's lovelybut no longer young face, photographed in complimentary lights and thensomewhat more cruel ones, in itself tells a rich story that compensatesfor shortcomings in this generally buoyant and entertaining adaptation.

  10. MGMboy from San Francisco
    30 Mar 2012, 11:24 am

    A rapture of visual, audio and cinematic emotional brilliance all tiedwith a killer last line. What a wonder is set before the viewer whenone enters the world of "Cheri". The visual richness of this parfait ofthe Belle Epoch is breathtaking from the rich creamy art neuveauarchitecture to the gloriously realized costumes of the early 20thcentury. What they only indicated in "Titanic" of the same periodcostumes. Explodes in luxury and in a sense informs the eye to thescene at hand and seems less costume than authentic clothing. As Cinema"Cheri" succeeds as more than an adaptation of a Collette novel butbecomes a world unto it's own. Here we are presented with some of ourfinest female performers at the top of their game. In short I amspeaking of Michelle Pfeiffer and Kathy Bates. As former courtesanrivals who are now aging friends they come together to define the lastpart of their lives and the beginning of Bates' son's life in aremarkable way. Kathy Bates goes deep into the complexities of her mixof comedy and nuanced drama in the same way she did with Annie Wilkes.Not to say that the characters of Annie and Madame Peloux are anythingalike. But Miss Bates takes this role to a superior level while all thewhile not letting you see her do her magic. She is just THERE! Thescene where her face decays from a radioactively sunny laugh to revealher true deepest disgust her spoiled soul is priceless. Then there isMichelle Pfeiffer as Lea de Lonval, at fifty one she may be older thatthe literary Lea but she has never been more luminous or nearly goddesslike. To look at her is to look upon a woman of a certain age that isageless in her embrace of times changing hands upon her face. But thereis more. This may be the pinnacle of her career, the role of herlifetime. She is Lea in so many levels both within her acting and in asense as an actress. She is stunning and brings forth the soul of agreat character as only our finest actors can. But all of this wouldseem a delightful trifle, a light story of an aging courtesan and heryoung lover if it were not for the narration that gives the film addeddepth and gravitas. I asked a friend today what he thought of the finaloutcome of the story. Of what the narrator reveals of what became ofCheri. He tossed it off lightly and said that it seemed an afterthought. He could not have been more wrong. He missed the whole pointof the film. The last lines of the film that tell us of the ultimatefate of Lea and Cheri are what give this film an emotional strength,irony, and ultimately heart wrenching tragedy. It is the final twistset into a stunning jewel of a film that is as captivating andspellbinding as Lea's mysterious emerald ring.

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