Young Queen Margot finds herself trapped in an arranged marriage amidst a religious war between Catholics and Protestants. She hopes to escape with a new lover, but finds herself imprisoned by her powerful and ruthless family.
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The night of August 24, 1572, is known as the Massacre of St. Bartholomew. In France a religious war is raging. In order to impose peace a forced wedding is arranged between Margot de Valois, sister of the immature Catholic King Charles IX, and the Hugenot King Henri of Navarre. Catherine of Medici maintains her behind-the-scenes power by ordering assaults, poisonings, and instigations to incest. Written by
Oliver 'Asana' Duex <email@example.com>
Patrice Chereau edited the original cut of the film (roughly 160 minutes) to a smaller 138 minutes for international release. This was due to a disappointing box-office performance in France and the criticism (by, among others, Variety critic Todd McCarthy) of the film as being too violent and often incoherent. The French press were scathing of this 'American censorship' (they described the film as having been 'given a face-lift' for American audiences) but the new version was defended by various French critics being both more coherent whilst also maintaining Chereau's artistic vision. The shorter cut was later released in France too, in the hopes of increasing the film's box-office takings. See more »
The music used in the wedding scene, a paraphrase of the finale of the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel's Messiah, was written more than two hundred years after the events of this film. See more »
Alexandre Dumas should certainly be satisfied with this superb adaptation of his classic. The setting is excellent and it gives a wonderful image of 16th century France. Naturally the highlight of the movie is the re-enactment of the St. Bartholomew's Day massacre. The horrendous scenes of the murders in all their crudity are terrific. The actors did a wonderful job here. Isabelle Adjani is, as usual, terrific. Her nude scenes, depicting the queen's adultery, lust and incestuous affairs are acted in such a way that they are a form of art. Vincent Perez is in one of his best roles - his interpretation of La Môle is second only to his acting in "Indochine". The great Virna Lisi is simply marvellous posing as Cathérine de Médicis - no wonder she won the Best Actress Award at Cannes. She is the ambitious woman par excellence, stopping at nothing to get where she wants, not even if she has to see her sons being killed one by one and sell her daughter in a convenient marriage to unite the Catholics and the Protestants. The others, especially Asia Argento, impersonating the tragic countess Charlotte de Sauve did a good job too. A very well deserved Prix du Jury.
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