In 1412, a young girl called Jeanne is born in Domrémy, France. The times are hard: The Hunderd Years war with England has been going on since 1337, English knights and soldiers roam the country. Jeanne develops into a very religious young woman, she confesses several times a day. At the age of 13, she has her first vision and finds a sword. When coming home with it, she finds the English leveling her home town. Years after that, in 1428, she knows her mission is to be ridding France of the English and so sets out to meet Charles, the Dauphin. In his desperate military situation, he welcomes all help and gives the maiden a chance to prove her divine mission. After the successful liberation of Orléans and Reims, the Dauphin can be crowned traditionally in the cathedral of Reims - and does not need her anymore, since his wishes are satisfied. Jeanne d'Arc gets set up in his trap and is imprisoned by the Burgundians. In a trial against her under English law, she can't be forced to tell ... Written by
Julian Reischl <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Star Milla Jovovich first appears 32 minutes into the film. See more »
The coronation scene is a lovely period spectacle, certainly... but were we to nitpick, we could indeed...Let's see now, where do I start?
1) The shape of the bishops' mitres is too narrow and tall for the 15th Century France, and are more proper for 16th century Italy.
2) Why is the Dauphin still dressed in his ermine during the actual anointing part of the service? All the coronation ceremonies of the time (which still survive in the Roman servicebooks) specify that the monarch-to-be-crowned is vested in a white alb which covers the coronation outfit.
3) The bishop attending continue to wear their mitres during the anointing itself. Incorrect, as the ritual prescribes that the bishops remove their mitres for this section.
4) The bishop performing the anointing wears his gloves. Incorrect, because.... (look at next point)
5) Why on earth does the bishop officiating at the coronation hold the ampulla (phial) of oil and shake it about? The correct procedure is for the bishop to remove his gloves, dip the front fleshy part of his right thumb in the Blessed Oil (Oil of the Catechumens, for those of you into details) and anoint (rub in the form of a cross) both the palms of the monarch's hands, on the chest, between the shoulders, and on the crown of the head. He most certainly does not slosh it about like Holy Water. The coronation also has been severely shortened, understandable since this is a film, but one wishes it didn't simply present the ceremony as a splash and crowning.
Last point (as if those above weren't already enough) - the bishop officiating at the coronation has a Rosary in his left hand throughout. That's not supposed to be there, as it is not among the items a Bishop is to wear during any service. It's an item for private devotion. A shame, as the costumes and details of the churchy stuff for the most part wonderfully accurate. See more »
1420. Henry V, King of England, and Charles VI, King of France, sign the Treaty of Troyes. The treaty states that the kingdom of France will belong to England upon the king's death. But the two kings die a few months apart. Henry VI is the new king of England and of France, but he is only a few months old. Charles VII, the Dauphin of France, has no intention to abandon his kingdom to a child nor even to his tutor, the Duke of Bedford. A bloody war begins and the English, along with...
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Milla Jovovich may have been the only woman who could have portrayed a 'Joan' believable enough for such a film and approach as that taken by Luc Besson, one which stops just short of suggesting some sort of 'shamanic visionary' as opposed to a character labelled everything from 'deranged schizophrenic' to 'lesbian', simply due to attire, while 'hearing voices' (all historical facts). The key ingredient: the eyes. Not since Faye Dunnaway's unforgetable portrayal in "The Eyes of Laura Mars" (1976), who coincidentally co-stars as an excellent Yolande d'Aragon herewith, has someone captivated an audience simply by a look or a glance. Spell-binding, riveting, and as true to the historical record as one can expect for this most noble of French heroines, while adding a plausible childhood, Besson, Jovovich, an excellent supporting cast and the film were all but ignored for the honours they so richly deserved. Rating five stars (of five) and a film I'll never forget!
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