Cinema: Festive Film Fare for Thanksgiving: Valmont

With a Mermaid as hostess, Magnolias on the table -- and a turkey called Valmont

VALMONT

Directed by Milos Forman

Screenplay by Jean-Claude Carriere

Call it by its rightful name, Les Liaisons Dangereuses. Call it Dangerous Liaisons. Call it, if you must, Valmont. But in any case it looks as if we can now call it a day for stage and movie adaptations of Pierre-Ambroise-Francois Choderlos de Laclos's intricate, instructive novel of sexual gamesmanship among the 18th century French aristocracy. For Milos Forman and Jean-Claude Carriere, while fiddling with the plot of this deliciously nasty tale, have studiously embalmed its spirit. Valmont arrives stiffened by the elegant, inert formalism of Forman's direction, and chilled by Carriere's...

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