The Last Mistress (Une Vieille Ma''tresse) is a French costume drama based on author Jules-Am''d''e Barbey's controversial novel of the same name. It follows penniless aristocrat Rynp de Marginy (Fu'ad A''t Aattou) through his engagement to Hermangarde (Roxanne Mesquida), the innocent granddaughter of the wealthy Marquis de Flers (Claude Saurraute). The Marquis is responsible for determining whether Ryno is an appropriate match for her granddaughter, and as she investigates Ryno's past the story of his ten-year affair with Spanish divorc''e Vellini (Asia Argento) emerges. De Flers allows the marriage to go forward despite Ryno's previous indiscretions, but soon after the couple's wedding Vellini tries to begin the affair again. Ryno must again make a choice between his carnal passion for Vellini and his purer, more socially acceptable love for Hermangarde. Director Catherine Breillat's The Last Mistress is a graphic exploration of the natures of love, lust, and their tenuous relationship to social convention.