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words on film pt. 1

March 13, 2011
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Poetry, literature, and movies are three of my favorite things, so understandably, I’m often drawn to movies about poets and writers.  I wanted to post about some of my favorites of these films, but the post was becoming really long, so I’m splitting it up into a series of posts, ‘words on film.’

Dangerous Beauty tells the story of a 16th century Venetian poet, Veronica Franco, who becomes a courtesan after realizing that she isn’t satisfied with the prospect of an arranged marriage.  Ladies weren’t educated, but courtesans could read and write, and as a poet, Veronica was determined to maintain her right to do so.  The costumes in this movie are absolutely beautiful, and the acting is excellent, too.  Catherine McCormack is strong yet vulnerable, subtle and witty in her portrayal of Veronica.  I’d never thought of Rufus Sewell as a romantic lead, probably because I’ve usually seen him as an elegantly sneering villain, but he was charming as Marco Venier, Veronica’s first love.

The storyline was wonderful and compelling, but what really took my breath away about Dangerous Beauty was the costuming.  There are so many layers and textures and details to look at that I found myself pausing the movie just to try to absorb it all. The courtesans’ costumes were particularly spectacular.

Dangerous Beauty was based on the biography of Veronica Franco, The Honest Courtesan, by Margaret Rosenthal, which I’d love to read, probably over the summer.  The movie is available to watch instantly on Netflix– if you watch it, I’d love to hear your thoughts!



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