One of the grand horizontals of the Parisian Belle Epoque, Lea de Lonval (Michelle Pfeiffer), is ready for retirement and a hobby. She picks a ruinous kind: the care and feeding of a beautiful, diffident young man, nicknamed Cheri, played by Rupert Friend. Cheri is the son of Madame Peloux, Lea's frenemy. Director Stephen Frears reunites with scriptwriter Christopher Hampton and star Pfeiffer to revisit the type of games all three of them played 20 years ago in Dangerous Liaisons. The film brings out Pfeiffer's gloriousness, her translucent skin, the limbs and hair still golden. But this deeply Southern Californian actress tries to play a Parisienne through formal diction and an exhausted drawl. Something simpler might have worked better. Yet Kathy Bates' Madame Peloux walks away with this picture, not that she does much walking. She spends a good deal of the film with feet propped up, a half-smile on her face. Here is a woman, in author ZZ Packer's phrase, who wears her fat like a mink coat. She looks like a woman who knew how to keep her customers amused.