April 8th, 2009



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Still of Stephen Frears in ChériStill of Stephen Frears in ChériStill of Michelle Pfeiffer, Kathy Bates and Rupert Friend in ChériStill of Michelle Pfeiffer in ChériStill of Michelle Pfeiffer and Rupert Friend in ChériStill of Michelle Pfeiffer and Rupert Friend in Chéri

The son of a courtesan retreats into a fantasy world after being forced to end his relationship with the older woman who educated him in the ways of love.

Release Year: 2009

Rating: 6.1/10 (4,907 voted)

Critic's Score: 63/100

Director: Stephen Frears

Stars: Michelle Pfeiffer, Rupert Friend, Kathy Bates

During France's belle époque before World War I, elegant cars, mansions, and servants defined the lives of les grandes horizontals, the courtesans of kings and millionaires. One of the most successful, Lea de Lonval, is approaching a certain age when an older associate, Charlotte Peloux, asks Lea to take on her 19 year old son, whom Lea has called Chéri since he was a child. They become lovers and, to their surprise, the relationship lasts six years. When it ends abruptly with a marriage his mother arranges to the daughter of another courtesan, Lea finds herself miserable. Has she fallen in love? If so, do she -- and Chéri - have any choices?

Writers: Christopher Hampton, Colette

Michelle Pfeiffer - Lea de Lonval
Frances Tomelty - Rose
Tom Burke - Vicomte Desmond
Rupert Friend - Chéri
Hubert Tellegen - Ernest
Joe Sheridan - Marcel
Kathy Bates - Madame Peloux
Toby Kebbell - Patron
Felicity Jones - Edmée
Iben Hjejle - Marie Laure
Alain Churin - Priest
Bette Bourne - Baronne
Nichola McAuliffe - Madame Aldonza
Andras Hamori - Silver Haired Industrialist
Gaye Brown - Lili

Taglines: Indulge in a wicked game of seduction.


Official Website: Official site | Official site [Japan] |

Release Date: 8 April 2009

Filming Locations: Biarritz, Pyrénées-Atlantiques, France

Box Office Details

Budget: $23,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend: £120,234 (UK) (10 May 2009) (81 Screens)

Gross: $2,684,051 (USA) (16 August 2009)

Technical Specs

Runtime: USA:  | Germany: (Berlin International Film Festival)  | USA:  | Argentina:

Did You Know?

Terrence McNally wrote the role of Frankie in the play "Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune" especially for Kathy Bates. When it came to casting the role for the movie version Frankie and Johnny, Bates lost the role to Michelle Pfeiffer, her co-star in this movie.

Miscellaneous: In the closing credits, 'thanks' are given to France's national railway, the Societe National Chemin de Fer, known as the "SNCF". However the credits have the letters out of sequence, calling it the "SCNF".

Cheri: Nounoune.
Lea de Lonval: Chéri.

User Review

Pfeiffer's Friend

Rating: 6/10

You can't really tell as far as Stephen Frears is concerned. After the sensational "The Queen" another film that is only slightly more tolerable than the dreadful "Mrs Henderson Presents" Here Rupert Friend in the title role is a delightful throwback to Oscar Wilde territory. You understand Pfeiffer loosing her head for him but not why he looses his for her. She's certainly beautiful but lifeless. She looks more distant than ever, struggling to find the tone of her performance and I'm afraid she never does. Not a glimpse of the Pfeiffer from "The Age Of Innocence" or even "The Fabulous Baker Boys" No sense of period or of intention. Kathy Bates is an annoying over the top caricature but Ruper Friend is the oasis that makes the aridity of this nonsense truly bearable. I had seen him before, most remarkably, in another story with another older woman, Joan Plowright in "Mrs Palfrey At The Claremont" He is an actor with, clearly, a few aces up his sleeve and I bet he will dazzle us with other surprises in the future. Here he's badly served by his director, co-stars costume designer, make up and hair and in spite of that he emerges as the only reason to see this film.


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