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Gérard Depardieu stars as the great French author Honoré de Balzac in this historical biography produced for French television. Balzac's childhood is marked by a difficult relationship with his mother, Charlotte-Laure (Jeanne Moreau), whose strident criticism and inability to show affection are not abated when he reaches adulthood. Balzac begins to gain the confidence he needs through his relationship with a wealthy society matron, Madame de Berney (Virna Lisi), but in time he abandons her when he falls in love with Countess Eva Hanska (Fanny Ardent), who already has a husband. When Madame de Berney dies, Balzac is filled with remorse, and his sorrow inspires him to create some of his greatest work; his writing finally gains the acceptance of the mass audience, and Balzac achieves the fame and wealth he's always wanted.

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LGE20858 Balzac: A Life Of Passion DVD (1999/Gerard Depardieu) $9.98