Madame De

2964. MADAME DE… (The Earrings Of Madame De…) (The Diamond Earrings) (1953-France-Italy). With CHARLES BOYER, DANIELLE DARRIEUX, VITTORIO DE SICA. Directed and co-scripted by MAX OPHULS. Ophuls is one of the French cinema’s legendary visual stylists. Here is one of his most famous films, an elegant and sumptuously directed drama of romance and adultery, desire and desperation. The heroine is the title character, a materialistic and self-involved woman of the upper classes. She is wed to a count, and as the story opens she finds herself deeply in debt and unable to pay her bills. In order to raise the necessary funds without rousing the suspicions of her husband, Madame De…(we never learn her last name) sells a pair of earrings he had given her on their wedding day. The story goes on to chart the plight of these earrings: Who buys them and to whom they are given, and how all of this eventually comes full circle and impacts on Madame. Of all the other characters in the story, one is of special importance. He is a foreign diplomat who comes to Paris and falls in love with Madame. Despite her surface superficiality, Madame’s feelings and passions are genuine. Her status as a count’s wife and all of her physical trappings cannot protect her from her emotions, and her heart. Ultimately, the film is a smart and sophisticated drama which acutely examines the manner in which a simple deception can have a momentous consequence. Ophuls’ constantly moving camera and his detailed recreation of a world of wealth and elegance are unparalleled. The film also is superbly acted by its trio of stars. Darrieux is letter-perfect as Madame and she is matched by Boyer as her husband and De Sica as her lover. In French with English subtitles. 100 minutes. Drama