Critic Reviews



Based on 22 critic reviews provided by
Chicago Tribune
But, as with any other Merchant Ivory film, this one provides pleasures beyond the ordinary. [07 Apr 1995]
Regardless, though it may be occasionally slow-moving and perhaps a half-hour too long, this film is put together with care and a mindfulness of quality.
Jefferson in Paris is a rich confection indeed, filled with tidbits about fashion, customs, art, and commerce in 18th-century France and America. But like a meal consisting of nothing but petits-fours, this lavish biopic is too much dessert and not enough main course.
The movie tells no clear story and has no clear ideas.
Bereft of any flesh-and-blood honesty, the last half of the movie plays like a ludicrous PBS version of "Mandingo."
The team of producer Ismail Merchant, director James Ivory and writer Ruth Prawer Jhabvala drops the ball with this droopy, snail-paced prigs-in-wigs movie.
Jefferson in Paris is dull, sluggish and unfocused.
Wall Street Journal
It's beautiful to watch, but it doesn't cover very much ground. Sumptuously appointed, meticulously detailed, the film sallies forth - and sags. [06 Apr 1995]
Boston Globe
But despite the vibrancy of its images and the exquisiteness of its craftsmanship, Jefferson in Paris doesn't often light a fire under its material. [07 Apr 1995]
This movie would have had a chance of being interesting had it been about Sally Hemmings.
The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
Jefferson in Paris isn't merely wooden; it's concrete. Nor is it simply bad; the thing is astonishingly bad. Sure looks pretty though. [08 Apr 1995]

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