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 »
At the end of the first scene after Coconnas has extinguished the candle, La Môle is shown in candle light again in the last shot. See more »
Welcome to the family Henri; it's a bit peculiar but not that bad.
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The lurid makes a surprisingly bland backdrop against Daniel Auteuil's transcendent performance as a sensible man caught among madness. Once you get past the massacre and the sex, the story picks up, and you may find yourself taking a small interest in what happens to Margot as she begins to betray more human qualities. Furthermore, other elements of the story do remain in the memory, such as the poisoning scene. Really, it's handled quite well. But the beginning is regrettable. Wanna-be ballet- dancers drizzled with blood verges on a spoof of a massacre. If meant to be taken seriously, as this was, it's an obscene gesture to any witness to or victim of a real one. It turned me off to the movie, and the sex scenes made for more, "Oh come on" moments. Even so, I watched it again, fast-forwarding through the silly, tasteless parts to watch this certain actor carry out a gem of a performance. Here, as in other films, you have to hand it to Auteuil. He's a brilliant actor.
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