The Last Mistress

From the mistranslated title (the French is Une Vieille Maitresse), through the amateurishly translated subtitles, and into the incredibly goofy dialogue (“Would I let her navigate alone on the ocean of perfidy that is man’s heart?” “Ah! The odor of love.” “That haughty and heartless creature mocks my heart and understanding.”) this costume drama by former shocks-and-cocks director Catherine Breillat is either an unevenly hilarious parody of the genre or an accidental amusement of the Ed Wood sort. Either way, it features the most girlishly beautiful man on Earth, newcomer Fu’ad Ait Aattou. This guy has a mouth like a middle-aged collagen addict. Naomi Campbell could sue him for lip-copyright infringement. He plays early 19th-century roué Ryno de Marigny, who is betrothed to the virginal and characterless Hermangarde de Flers. But first, he must deal with an old mistress, or, if we go by the English title, the last mistress, the Spaniard Vellini. She’s played by Asia Argento, who’s not really pretty, but has evil-sexy down. Vellini bewitches Ryno by being really bitchy and then trying to get him killed and then licking his bloody wounds, which, in the 19th century, was considered bragable. Someone would be all, “I got a hummer,” and you could shoot back, “A countess licked my bloody wound,” and then everyone would think you were awesome. True.


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