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Frenhofer, a once-famous artist hasn't painted in ten years. His last work, possibly his masterpiece, La Belle Noiseuse (the beautiful annoyance) remains unfinished. When another artist and his girlfriend Marianne visit, the beautiful and fiercely intelligent young woman inspires Frenhofer, and she reluctantly agrees to be his new model.
Twisting Marianne's gloriously undressed body into torturous positions, the posing begins in wary hostility and escalates into a battle of the wills. Yet gradually, their efforts become a sincere collaboration, driving both to dangerous limits.
One of the New Wave's greatest directors, Rivette creates a powerful, passionate film about an artist seeking truth, regardless of the cost.