Children of the Century
September 13, 2002
Diane Kurys directs this film based on the true story of the two-year love affair between French authors George Sand and Alfred de Musset. This romance was the inspiration for de Musset's novel Confessions d'Un Enfant du Siècle, which translates in English to Confessions of a Child of the Century. Kurys, along with Murray Head and François-Olivier Rousseau, did the screenplay for this adaptation.
For those of you who may not know this, George Sand (Juliette Binoche) was the pen name of female author Amandine Aurore Lucile Dupin Dedevant. However, she took this change of sex a little further than most. She also acted like a male of 1830s France by dressing in men's clothing and hanging out in smoking parlors. She is also less known for her writing than her affairs with such notables as Frederic Chopin, Franz Lizst, and poet de Musset (Benoit Magimel).
The story is one of self-destruction, both of Sand and de Musset. They first meet when de Musset attends a reading of one of her books. Their friendship soon turns romantic, in spite of signs that de Musset is a troubled man. The two run off to Italy, where they expect to continue their writing careers. Even before landfall, we begin to find out what type of man de Musset really is.
Once in Venice, de Musset shows his love of brothels, gambling, and opium. He tells Sand that to be a great poet, he must experience the bad side of life. Sand doesn't like his lifestyle, but continues with her writing and their relationship.
Reviews of this film have not been very positive since it had its world premiere at the 1999 Toronto International Film Festival. There is no message in the convoluted writing and we really don't learn much about either of our main characters. However, this movie may still be of interest to you if you enjoy that period of history or literature. (Marty Doskins/BOP)