The title of this major French costume drama means "Louis, child-king", and indeed it's a fascinating fresco about the formative years of the young king Louis XIV, before he became the ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Maxime Mansion ...
...
...
Hervé Briaux ...
Brigitte Catillon ...
Irina Dalle ...
Serge Dupire ...
Isabelle Gélinas ...
Duchesse de Chatillon
...
...
Coadjuteur de l'Archevêque de Paris, futur Cardinal de Retz
Régis Royer ...
Vanessa Wagner ...
Maurice Barrier ...
Guitaud
Marco Bisson ...
Le duc de Nemours
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Storyline

The title of this major French costume drama means "Louis, child-king", and indeed it's a fascinating fresco about the formative years of the young king Louis XIV, before he became the Sun-king at Versailles. It was a dark and violent period, when the Louvre (meaning 'wolves hunt castle', hunting was a major aristocratic pastime), then still the somewhat gloomy royal palace, was the battle field of palace intrigues while the regency was held by queen-mother Anne of Austria but the actual head of the royal government was the aging cardinal Giulio Mazirini ('Mazarin'), the less-known Italian successor of Richelieu, who also introduced to the court and the kingdom a host of his countrymen from whom Louis would learn the passion for Italian culture, especially music which would flourish under the direction of Lully (but that later story is another movie, "Le Roi danse"). The elaborate script sketches the story of French power politics, too complicate and devious to summarize in any detail... Written by KGF Vissers

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21 April 1993 (France)  »

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Louis, the Child King  »

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A Good Film About A Confusing Story
14 March 2004 | by See all my reviews

Not many films get made about Louis XIV, even in France. One reason is that this is a confusing period of French history. Yet, Louis, enfant roi does a good job in trying to introduce it to us.

The king is a child of ten. The nobility and the populace are rebelling. The Queen mother is a Spaniard (played by a Spanish actress with the necessary accent) and France is at war with Spain. The prime minister Cardinal Mazarin is an Italian (played by an Italian actor, etc.) The king's relatives are demanding a share of power while behaving like a pillaging army. Amorality abounds and no one can be trusted. Louis XIV learned how to rule in this atmosphere.

As the film progresses, we see the young king turn into an adolescent leading troops in the field and learn his craft. He loved his mother and trusted Mazarin, but nobody else, not even his brother. As a child he learned to suspect everyone and this was how he ruled.

This is a good film with the budget to support it, unlike Rossellini's La Prise du Pouvoir. It just requires a little knowledge to understand.


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