Breillat’s sumptuous adaptation of Jules Barbey d’Aurevilly’s Une vieille maîtresse may be set in the reign of the “citizen king” Louis Philippe, but this dangerous liaison is recognizably modern. Disrupting cinematic as well as social conventions, Asia Argento gives an extraordinary performance in the title role as, as the film puts it, “a capricious flamenca who can outstare the sun”—not to mention outmaneuver her erotic rival (Roxane Mesquida). The two women vie for the heart of Ryno de Marigny (Fu’ad Aït Aattou), who wishes to close the book on his affair with Argento’s sultry mistress in order to wed Mesquida’s comparatively innocent maiden. Argento holds the screen with the force of her carnality, which may be precisely Breillat’s point. An NYFF45 selection.