Amant, L' [1992]

Lovely to look at, this story reveals little more than the characters' nude bodies. Like couples whose only attraction is physical, this has little to offer once it leaves the bedroom. We never learn the interests or inner workings of the lovers in question. They become nothing more than attractive bodies, which makes this little more than a shallow exercise in sexuality. The story is based on the controversial, and supposedly autobiographical, bestseller by experimental French novelist Marguerite Duras. It tells the story of a young French schoolgirl who becomes sexually involved with a sophisticated, older Asian man. Set in Indochina in the late 1920s, this is stunningly photographed and artfully directed by Jean-Jacques Annaud. That said, the lack of a more satisfying plot means this is merely tastefully produced soft porn. --Rochelle O'Gorman

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