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The Proprietor

Director:Ismail Merchant
Writers:Jean-Marie Besset and George Trow
Director of Photography:Larry Pizer
Editor:William Webb
Music:Richard Robbins
Production Designers:Bruno Santini and Kevin Thompson
Producers: Humbert Balsan and Donald Rosenfeld
Warner Bros.; R; 105 minutes
Release:10/96
Cast:Jeanne Moreau, Josh Hamilton, Austin Pendleton, Nell Carter, Christopher Cazenove, Sean Young and Sam Waterston

Merchant makes no attempt to hide the fact that he adores Moreau, nearly canonizing her in The Proprietor. And only Moreau could pull off this saccharine role, leaving viewers to assume there's another side to this heavenly creature. When French expatriate novelist Adrienne Mark (Moreau) learns that the apartment she grew up in is for sale, she returns to Paris to buy it. After living in New York for 30 years, she finds that Parisians are still obsessed with her, and her ex-husband, from whom she has been divorced for decades, has patiently waited for her return, hoping for a passionate reunion. Though she seems to live a carefree life, Mark is haunted by nightmares about the death of her mother, who was killed by Nazis. Some satirical attempts to parody Hollywood create an unevenness that throws the film off course.


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