The dictionary defines courtesan as,"a prostitute, especially one with wealthy or upper-class clients." In the Renaissance period, courtesans stood out by being not just beautiful but also talented, intelligent and, as the movie says, "amongst the most educated women in the world."
Veronica Franco, played by Catherine McCormack, presents all of those traits in this movie. Traits which she learns from her mother who is played by Jaqueline Bisset. The film presents a number of other familiar faces, including Rufus Swell, Oliver Platt, and Naomi Watts.
Here's a peek via the official movie trailer:
It is an R rated movie, as befits the subject matter of prostitution. There is plenty of skin revealed as well as the main character sleeping with numerous men. When asked how many of Venice's noblemen she had slept with, she was unable to say. Twenty? One Hundred? The sex is portrayed in away that is less off putting than it is in many current day films.
Despite the R rating, I felt that the movie was worth watching to see VENICE depicted as it was in the 16th century. Watching and then visiting that city, allowed me to picture it in those days. To have an idea of how it must have worked, at least in relationship to the nobility, the doge and the church. In the movie you will see rich palaces, the Grand Canal, fancy dress, feasting, the plague and so much more.
The main character becomes a very popular courtsan because of her intelligence, beauty and with. She also becomes a heroine by bringing France to the aid of Venice in the war with the Turks. However, when the plague descends and the religious and political climate shifts, she becomes a victim of the Inquisition.
DO I RECOMMEND DANGEROUS BEAUTY?
I did enjoy this movie and I do recommend it. It is biographical in nature. It is a period drama and, as the cover says, a scandalous love story. It was beautifully set and filmed. Additionally, it has some very funny moments, particularly in some of the verbal sparring scenes between Catherine McCormack and Rufus Swell and Oliver Platt.
If you are interested, you can read more about or order your copy of Dangerous Beauty on Amazon by clicking right here.
If you're planning a trip to Italy, you might also enjoy my reviews of Letters to Juliet, The Tourist and Summertime. Stay tuned for more and beware that unless you start watching and reading about Italy long before you go, you will run out of time.
at the movies!
Buy your copy of Dangerous Beauty on Amazon.