The beautiful troublemaker

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German title The beautiful troublemaker
Original title La Belle Noiseuse
Country of production France
original language French
Publishing year 1991
length Divertimento:
125 minutes
Long version:
229 minutes
Age rating FSK 6
Director Jacques Rivette
script Pascal Bonitzer ,
Christine Laurent ,
Jacques Rivette
production Martine Marignac
music Igor Stravinsky
camera William Lubtchansky
cut Nicole Lubtchansky

The beautiful troublemaker (original title: La Belle Noiseuse ) is a French film drama from 1991 . Directed by Jacques Rivette , who also wrote the script together with Pascal Bonitzer and Christine Laurent based on the story The unknown masterpiece by Honoré de Balzac .


The famous painter Edouard Frenhofer lives in an old castle in the south of France with his wife Liz, who used to model for him . But Frenhofer has not painted for several years. He left a painting he had begun with the title “The Beautiful Troublemaker”, which seemed to be a masterpiece, unfinished. The young artist Nicolas and his girlfriend Marianne visit the painter Nicolas admired. Nicolas suggests to Frenhofer that the master Marianne could paint in order to overcome his creative crisis. Marianne is initially reluctant to accept this agreement made without her knowledge, but then she appears in Frenhofer's studio and poses naked. Frenhofer begins to draw them. For several days, Frenhofer wrestled with the task of creating a picture in extended sessions, while for Marianne the hours as a model turned into a challenging self-awareness. Liz warns Marianne that being painted by Frenhofer could change her. Marianne is increasingly distancing herself from Nicolas, who stays alone in the hotel and waits apathetically while Marianne lives in the castle.

The camera follows the painter's work on the easel and his gaze at Marianne's naked body. In the meantime, the art dealer Porbus visits the Frenhofers repeatedly in their castle. He hopes that Frenhofer will produce something again that he can sell. At the same time he tries unsuccessfully to get closer to Liz. Frenhofer finally takes out the canvas of the "beautiful troublemaker" and resumes work on the unfinished painting. His wife Liz was the model for this picture at the time, but he didn't finish it because, as Liz later reports, completing the picture would have ruined his love for her. Now Frenhofer paints over Liz's face and replaces it with Marianne's nude. He completes the picture, which the viewer does not get to see. Marianne is shocked by what she sees and feels exposed in her essence. Liz, so far full of quiet restraint and always sympathetic to Frenhofer's work with Marianne, is offended by the overpainting and gives Frenhofer a ruthless balance sheet of their relationship. Frenhofer hides the picture, apparently so as not to expose Marianne by walling it up in a wall niche in his studio. He presented another, newly painted picture to the art dealer Porbus and Nicolas. Towards the end of the film, Nicolas' sister appears surprisingly, who loves her brother and rejects Marianne. The three of them used to live together in one apartment when Marianne was in a crisis. Nicolas asks Marianne to leave with him. She refuses. The last word of the film is her “no”: she has gained her autonomy and freed herself from the emotional dependence on Nicolas.


The film was shot in Assas ( Hérault department ). Its world premiere took place in May 1991 at the Cannes International Film Festival . On September 8, 1991, the film was shown at the Toronto International Film Festival , which was followed by the New York Film Festival on October 2, 1991 . After the German theatrical release on January 9, 1992, the film was shown again in some cinemas from August 10, 2006. It grossed around $ 409,000 in US cinemas .

Jacques Rivette also made a two-hour cut of the film, which was subtitled Divertimento in theaters. However, this version is not a short version of the four-hour film, but an independent work (which in turn contains scenes that are not included in the long version). While the focus in the long version is on the “creative process of painting”, in the shorter version the emphasis is a little more on the interpersonal relationships between the protagonists.

Both versions of the film opened in German cinemas on January 9, 1992; the four-hour version, however, only in the original with subtitles, while a German dubbing was made for the Divertimento version .

The originals of the drawings and paintings in the film are works by the painter Bernard Dufour .


Vincent Canby wrote in the New York Times on September 17, 1993 that the film was "hypnotically beautiful" and "numbing" . The version shortened by half and published as Divertimento is more like a soap opera .

The Fischer Film Almanach 1993 wrote about the Divertimento version: The “Divertimento” is a self-contained, independent work that can exist alongside the original, but cannot replace it for quick reception.

Desson Howe wrote in the Washington Post that the four-hour film "indulge" in time, it nevertheless brings the viewer an enrichment. It is intended for film buffs and lovers of French culture ( “It's for cineastes and Francophiles” ) - as well as for people who appreciate the beauty of the naked female body - especially that of Emmanuelle Béart. This makes up a lot of viewers. The film credibly shows the change in characters.

Film-Dienst wrote that the film was "an artfully nested confrontation with the topics of art and life on several narrative levels, condensed into a playful and intensive search for meaning in life and the emancipation of people" .


Jacques Rivette received the Grand Jury Prize and a Special Prize at the Cannes International Film Festival in 1991 ; he was also nominated for the Palme d' Or. Jacques Rivette (in two categories), Michel Piccoli, Emmanuelle Béart and Jane Birkin were nominated for the César in 1992 .

The film received the Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award in 1991 . Jacques Rivette received the 1992 Syndicat Français de la Critique de Cinéma ( Best French Film ) and in 1993 the Japanese Kinema Jumpō Prize .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Release certificate for The Beautiful Troublemaker (original version with German subtitles) . Voluntary self-regulation of the film industry, September 2006 (PDF; test number: 67 106-a DVD).
  2. Release certificate for Die Schöne Querulantin - Divertimento (German synchronized version) . Voluntary self-regulation of the film industry, September 2006 (PDF; test number: 67 106 DVD).
  3. French La Belle Noiseuse . The word noiseuse is explained in the film by Marianne as a common word in Québec for a belligerent person, in fact there is no such word in Québécois .
  4. Locations for La Belle Noiseuse, accessed March 1, 2008
  5. Release dates for La Belle Noiseuse, accessed 1 March 2008
  6. business for La Belle Noiseuse, accessed 1 March 2008
  7. Vincent Canby's film review, accessed March 1, 2008
  8. ^ A film review by Desson Howe, accessed March 1, 2008
  9. ^ The beautiful troublemaker in the Lexicon of International FilmsTemplate: LdiF / Maintenance / Access used , accessed on March 1, 2008