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In 1832, cholera ravages Provence (South of France). After several misadventures, Angelo, young Italian officer hunted by the Austrian secret police, meets Pauline de Theus, a young lady. After a second accidental meeting, both will start the search of Pauline's husband in a chaotic country. Written by
Remy Amouroux <Remy.Amouroux@imag.fr>
It takes quite an amazing group of people to make a great epic. Aside from great source material, really all the components have to be superb, and it has to be put together in such a way that the viewer is not left wondering what happened to a decade (see: Queen Margot).
Most of the necessary pieces are here, but there is something missing, some element that keeps it from being a truly great film. It is certainly a good one, a movie that is worth seeing, and worth doing so on a big screen, thanks to its beautiful scenery between France and Italy. The stars are very watchable, and the story is tight enough to keep your attention throughout. Unlike many films of its genre, it is not overlong.
Ironically, I found myself comparing it to another Binoche epic, The English Patient, which made me wonder what was lacking in light of what I consider to be a finer film. In the end, it may be simply that the latter had a novel that was more compelling, or a lead (Fiennes) that was just more riveting.
The story is of two people fleeing the outbreak of cholera in early 19th century France. Angelo is attempting to return to his native Italy, to join the revolution, and Pauline is searching for something... They manage to aid each other's flight.
In the great tradition of French period epics, this is not the pinnacle, but it is near the upper echelon. It's worth a shot.
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