Adopting the approach of most movies made about the life of the notorious pleasure seeker, Lasse Hallström’s Casanova isn’t a biography but a free-form embellishment. It treats Casanova as a legend, a symbol—like Zorro. Though he’s celebrated for his sexual conquests in his city—the lush, candied Venice of the mid-18th century—few people actually recognize Casanova (Heath Ledger) on sight, though many claim to. When he stops on the street to watch himself represented in a puppet show, a man observes that the figure on the miniature stage is Casanova to the very life. “I know him well,” the stranger assures Casanova with a canny chuckle.