- 1 hr 32 min
Cheri is a romantic period film set in Paris in the 1900s. Directed by Stephen Frears, the movie stars Michelle Pfeiffer, Rupert Friend, and Kathy Bates. The storyline revolves around an aging courtesan, Lea (Pfeiffer), and her romantic relationship with a younger man named Cheri (Friend). Cheri, the son of Lea's colleague and friend Madame Peloux (Bates), is a spoiled and immature young man who has spent his life in the company of wealthy women like his mother and Lea. However, when Cheri turns 19, Lea and Madame Peloux decide that it is time for him to grow up and marry a suitable girl. Cheri is set to marry Edmee, the daughter of a wealthy industrialist, but is reluctant to go through with the marriage.
Lea and Cheri have been having a casual romantic affair for six years and as the big day approaches, they realize their feelings for each other are more than just physical. However, their relationship is complicated by their different social statuses, their age difference, and societal expectations of their behavior.
The crux of the story is their struggle to come to terms with their love for each other as they navigate through their individual desires with their societal and familial duties. The film also touches on the themes of aging, societal norms, and women's agency in relationships.
Michelle Pfeiffer's performance as Lea is exquisite, portraying an aging courtesan with a depth of emotion and complexity. Her character is intelligent, witty, and charming yet vulnerable and emotionally conflicted. Rupert Friend, on the other hand, plays the naive Cheri with a raw honesty, giving humanity to the spoiled young man. Kathy Bates, as always, delivers an outstanding performance as Madame Peloux.
The film captures the glamour of the Belle Epoque era of Paris, with its lavish settings, costumes, and art direction. The cinematography is breathtaking, with the use of soft focus adding to the dream-like atmosphere of the film. The music, composed by Alexandre Desplat, sets the mood perfectly, enhancing the emotional depth of the characters.
Cheri is a slow-burning film that relies on the subtlety of its performances and the depth of its characters to carry the story forward. It explores the themes of love, freedom, and societal expectations in a sophisticated and nuanced manner. The film's strength lies in its ability to evoke the complicated emotional landscape of the characters, and it's no surprise that the performances of the actors have been universally praised.
In conclusion, Cheri is an excellent period film that delivers on all fronts, from the performances to the cinematography and the music. It's a poignant story about two people at different stages of their life, trying to navigate their feelings for each other within the constraints of their social and familial obligations. It's a must-watch for anyone who enjoys a good romance, and especially for those who appreciate nuanced and complex characters.
Cheri is a 2009 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 32 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.1 and a MetaScore of 63.