If Academy voters want assurance that they were right to deny Sharon Stone the Best Actress award in 1996 for "Casino," they need only see this remake of a 1955 Henri-Georges Clouzot film. Sharon plays a teacher in a boys school who helps the wife (Isabelle Adjani) of the headmaster (Chazz Palminteri) kill her husband. Both are sleeping with the retch and both have had it with his domination, his insistence on serving lousy food and his refusal to clean the pool. (When he realized that the dirty pool was a necessary plot element, writer Joe Ezsterhaus was forced to drop out of the project because his nude, underwater lesbian scene was rendered unusable.)
Director Jeremiah Chechik's new version of this film does a magnificent job of sucking the life right out of the old version. After the two women do away with their mutual lover, his body disappears and the weak-hearted ex-nun Mia (Adjani) becomes increasingly convinced that her husband still roams the earth. However, Chechik focuses on Nicole (Stone), who is the subject of countless pointless reaction shots, presumably because Stone demands a certain amount of camera time. Thank God she imported several of her outfits from "Casino" to pass it in style.
When we finally realize that Stone is a math teacher, the film loses all credibility. How many math teachers do you know who instruct trigonometry while massaging their nipples against the fabric of a sleek evening dress? Is there a single Latin teacher who can pout with the sexual vibrancy of Isabelle Adjani? My trig teacher in junior high was a hermit-looking freak who probably beat his dog when he didn't get a chance to masturbate four or five times a day. Now he was diabolical.
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