6.9/10
19,281
97 user 29 critic

The Lover (1992)

L'amant (original title)
Trailer
0:57 | Trailer
In 1929 French Indochina, a French teenage girl embarks on a reckless and forbidden romance with a wealthy, older Chinese man, each knowing that knowledge of their affair will bring drastic consequences to each other.

Writers:

Marguerite Duras (based on the novel), Gérard Brach (adaptation) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Popularity
3,555 ( 64)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jane March ... The Young Girl
Tony Ka Fai Leung ... The Chinaman
Frédérique Meininger ... The Mother
Arnaud Giovaninetti Arnaud Giovaninetti ... The Elder Brother
Melvil Poupaud ... The Younger Brother
Lisa Faulkner ... Helene Lagonelle
Xiem Mang Xiem Mang ... The Chinaman's Father
Philippe Le Dem Philippe Le Dem ... The French Teacher
Ann Schaufuss Ann Schaufuss ... Anne-Marie Stretter
Quach Van An Quach Van An ... The Driver
Tania Torrens Tania Torrens ... The Principal
Raymonde Heudeline Raymonde Heudeline ... The Writer (end)
Yvonne Wingerter Yvonne Wingerter ... The Writer (beginning)
Do Minh Vien Do Minh Vien ... The Young Boy
Hélène Patarot ... The Assistant Mistress
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Storyline

It is French Colonial Vietnam in 1929. A young French girl from a family that is having some monetary difficulties is returning to boarding school. She is alone on public transportation when she catches the eye of a wealthy Chinese businessman. He offers her a ride into town in the back of his chauffeured sedan, and sparks fly. Can the torrid affair that ensues between them overcome the class restrictions and social mores of that time? Based on the semi-autobiographical novel by Marguerite Duras. Written by Cal Lott <cal.lott@gsb.uchicago.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

She gave her innocence, her passion, her body. The one thing she couldn't give was her love.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R on appeal for graphic and explicit sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

To find the actress who would play the girl, director Jean-Jacques Annaud advertised in multiple cities in the United States and the United Kingdom, visited drama schools, and watched television. However, it was his wife who came upon 16-year-old British model Jane March's photograph in a teen fashion magazine and brought her to his attention. See more »

Goofs

Her lover smokes filtered cigarettes in 1929. They were not invented until the mid-'30s and not in common use until the 1950s. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Narrator: Very early in my life, it was too late. At eighteen it was already too late. At eighteen I aged. This aging was brutal. This aging, I saw it spread over my features, one by one. Instead of being frightened by it, I saw this aging of my face with the same sort of interest I might have taken for example in the reading of a book. That new face I kept it. It's kept the same contours, but its matter is destroyed. I have a destroyed face. Let me tell you again: I'm fifteen and a half. ...
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Alternate Versions

Available on video in two versions: the 103 min. R-rated cut and a much more explicit 115 min. unrated cut. See more »

Connections

Featured in Joe Bob's Drive-In Theater: Aardvark Jubilee (1995) See more »

Soundtracks

Waltz in B minor Opus 69 No. 2
Written by Frédéric Chopin (as Chopin)
Performed by Howard Shelley
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User Reviews

Wonderfully evocative, refreshingly original, intriguing cinematography.
13 February 1999 | by nz manSee all my reviews

My wife and I were enraptured and thoroughly enjoyed this gem. Deeply evocative and so real that we nearly felt the rain and hot humidity, we were swept along on this unique journey. The external and newsgroup reviews did not ring true for us. Well OK, the characters were very sad and March delivered stilted lines at times, but there was so much magic to see and hear! She sizzled. He struggled. They both yearned for what could not be.

Those harbour and river scenes were no Hollywood set or computer graphics, but just had to be the real thing: Vietnam! The reviews said 'not erotic' and 'like Penthouse'...?!? Just look beneath the surface: even though both characters are trapped in cultural barriers and subsequently repress so many emotions (especially the girl), they escape into the blissfully unreal world of the rented room where emotions run deep albeit confused.

You will not find the usual American 'formula film' composed of glitz, action, intrigue, syrupy sweetness and a predictable ending. Instead here is a film that is complex yet simple, both beautiful and ugly, about separateness and unions, and the sufferings of those who love but cannot love. We were captivated, enchanted. If you are prudish or do not like 'foreign films', then avoid this film. However, if you have ever travelled in Asia, if you love creative cinematography, if you enjoy small subtleties, if you like an insight into the past and a time of strong desires... then see this film! It was refreshing, and we did not want it to end.


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Details

Country:

France | UK | Vietnam

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

30 October 1992 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Lover See more »

Filming Locations:

Vietnam See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$181,147, 1 November 1992

Gross USA:

$4,899,194

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$5,013,090
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (R-rated) | (unrated)

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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