Adapted from an 1851 novel by Jules-Amedee Barbey d’Aurevilly, The Last Mistress traces the kinky affair between earnest young aristocrat Ryno de Marigny (Fu’ad Ait Aattou), who is about to be married, and his older, Spanish mistress (Asia Argento) of 10 years. Which woman, director Catherine Breillat asks, represents true love? Breillat can’t seem to decide if she wants to embrace the period milieu or undermine it with campy touches (at least one sex scene takes place on a tiger-skin rug, complete with the animal’s head). Argento certainly chooses an anachronistic approach. Slouching at the opera and frequently adjusting her elaborate costumes, she mostly appears bored. That is, until she starts licking the blood from her lover’s wound. At that point, The Last Mistress begins its transformation from a Breillat film into an Argento one.