Lola Montès (Max Ophuls, 1955)

Lola_MontesThis lavish CinemaScope epic is a fitting testament to the enormity of Ophuls’ vision even though it was a commercial and critical disaster that was unceremoniously butchered by its producers to try to recoup their money, all to no avail. The film in replete with Ophuls’ elegant sense of style, which adorns the first-rate costume and production design with fluid, sweeping camera movements that pull us into each moment with grace and beauty. However, the casting of French “sex siren” Martine Carol as Lola is a dud, as she should compel our attention, but instead merely toys with it. (DVD)