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One of the obsessive speculations in American history is whether Thomas Jefferson, in the years before he became president, had an affair with (and fathered a child with) his 15-year-old slave Sally Hemings. JEFFERSON IN PARIS follows Jefferson to France (as the U.S. ambassador to the court of Louis XVI), following the death of his wife his friendships and flirtations with the French, his relationship with his daughters and slaves from home (especially Sally), against the backdrop of the beginning of the French Revolution. Written by
Michael C. Berch <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I have viewed this movie numerous times and find the story profound. The acting supersedes the actual script, but this is why I rate this movie so high. Thandie Newton as Sally Hemming is as good as portrayal as any I've seen. Her naivety, yet bountiful charisma lingers in your mind for days and even now I can see her frolicking, sweet character. As for Nick Nolte, he IS Thomas Jefferson: stern yet generous, political yet extremely intelligent. And, unlike other Gwyneth Paltrow roles, she CAN play vindictive and succeeds wonderfully. Her contempt for her father's relationship with Sally, her slave/maid, coupled with her religious beliefs only compliment the main plot line. Her angst over joining the nunnery or continuing on to care for her father, provides the overall story with some depth. This helps suggest a theme of moral temperament and uninhibited enlightenment over issues of race and religious convictions. Although the movie drags at times, the acting shines through as superb.
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