Zorg (Jean-Hugues Anglade) is a handyman
working at a beach resort in France. He looks after the
wooden beach bungalows, leading a quiet life, working during
the day and writing a novel in his spare time.
Betty (Béatrice Dalle) walks into
his life. Betty is a beautiful but unpredictable young woman.
She is stormy as she is gorgeous, given to disturbing tantrums.
Betty discovers the manuscript of a novel
Zorg has written. She thinks him a genius and takes on the
job of getting it published, an enterprise that provides
the film's narrative thread.
After a dispute with the owner of the
beach bugalows, Betty throws all of Zorg's furniture out
of his own bungalow. Zorg and an old man watch from a distance,
and the old man notes locanicly "Your pad will look
very Zen now".
Zorg and Betty leave for the city, where
they move in with Betty's friend Lisa (Consuelo de Haviland)
and her man Eddy (Gerard Darmon) a restaurateur. Betty gets
a job at a restaurant. Later Eddy employs Zorg and Betty
to run the family's business in the country.
She has persuaded Zorg to get his novel
published. But the publishers' rejection slips cause Betty
to get more and more frstrated. Betty's increasingly unpredictable
and violent behaviour is starting to get out of control,
and the rest of the film concentrates on how Zorg deals
with the consequences.
This is an extraordinarily sensual film
with its own unsettling integrity. Beineix writes purple
film noir dialogue, matched by a cenematic style full of
crane shots and gliding camera shots. The music also works
well, especially the evocative sound of saxaphone and harmonica.
Like Zorg, we are seduced by Betty's bright
eyes, sensual mouth and unpredictable ways. When Zorg says
"I'll eat chili no matter how hot it is," we have
as little idea as he does how hot it can get. One reviewer
has aptly described this movie as a "devastating combination
of French farce and Greek tragedy".
Dalle finds with astonishing accuracy
the essence of her role - one that will leave you unsettled
for life if you have ever experienced a personality anything
The story is based on a novel by
Genre: romance, drama.
Runtime: 120 min /
France:185 min (director's cut)
Director: Jean-Jacques Beineix
Philippe Djian (novel)
Jean-Jacques Beineix producer
Claudie Ossard producer
Original Music: Gabriel Yared
Cinematography: Jean-François Robin
Sound Mix: Mono
Jean-Hugues Anglade Zorg
Béatrice Dalle Betty
Gérard Darmon Eddy
Consuelo De Haviland Lisa
Clémentine Célarié Annie
Jacques Mathou Bob
Vincent Lindon Richard le jeune
Claude Aufaure Le médecin
Louis Bellanti Mario
Dominique Besnehard Client pizzeria
Raoul Billerey Le vieux policier
Nathalie Dalyan Maria
Nicolas Jalowyj Le petit Nicolas
André Julien Le vieux Georges
Bernard Robin Deuxième locataire
Claude Confortès Propriétaire
Philippe Laudenbach L'éditeur,
Leonie Berthuit La morte
Frédéric Caratini Archie
Raymond Julien Le vieux type décès
Jacky Galibert L'infirmier musclé
complete version only
Jean-Pierre Bisson Le commissaire
Dominique Pinon Le dealer/Dope
Simon de La Brosse