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The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc (1999)
"Joan of Arc" (original title)

6.4
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 51,864 users   Metascore: 54/100
Reviews: 386 user | 109 critic | 33 from Metacritic.com

A young girl receives a vision that drives her to rid France of its oppressors.

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Title: The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc (1999)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Stéphane Algoud ...
Look Out (as Stephane Algoud)
...
Bishop
...
English Judge
David Barber ...
English Judge
Christian Barbier ...
Captain
Timothy Bateson ...
English Judge
David Begg ...
Nobleman - Rouen's Castle
Christian Bergner ...
Captain
Andrew Birkin ...
Talbot
...
English Judge
John Boswall ...
Old Priest
Matthew Bowyer ...
The Bludgeoned French Soldier
...
Domremy's Priest
Bruce Byron ...
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Storyline

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 <julianreischl@mac.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong graphic battles, a rape and some language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

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Release Date:

12 November 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

FRF 390,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£94,012 (UK) (10 March 2000)

Gross:

£94,012 (UK) (10 March 2000)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(unrated)

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Kathryn Bigelow refused to direct when Luc Besson insisted that Milla Jovovich, his wife at the time, played the lead. See more »

Goofs

Joan is shot by an arrow near her right collarbone. In the last scenes(when she is about to be burned at the stake) the scar is on her left collarbone See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Title Card: 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...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Film Geek (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

My Heart Calling
Lyrics and Music by Eric Serra and Noa
Produced by Eric Serra
Performed by Noa
With the Special Authorization of Interscope/Geffen
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Great looking but awkward drama
1 December 1999 | by (Brooklyn, NY) – See all my reviews

I know next to nothing about the Joan of Arc story, but I've liked Luc Besson's work, and the trailer was terrific, so I was looking forward to this movie, even after the bad reviews. As might be expected from a Besson film, it looked incredible. The battle scenes were all well-handled, and as the warrior Joan, Jovovich was quite convincing. The rest of the movie was something else again.

It seems to me Besson and his co-writer, Andrew Birkin, were trying to do what Kenneth Branagh did in his version of HAMLET; look at the lead character not as an icon, but as a normal human being, and try to explain their actions and behavior in that context. Admittedly, since I am unfamiliar with this story, I am more receptive to this approach than those who hold Joan as an icon, but I would have been more than willing to watch a movie which handled this material well. Unfortunately, once Besson established which way he wanted to go, he seemed unsure of how to get there. Most of the drama is handled on a third-grade level(especially her trial), and we never really get into what made Joan tick. Though the scenes with Dustin Hoffman were involving, especially since he was so good, they too fell short in explaining Joan. And Jovovich can't quite access those depths yet.

The rest of the cast is okay. Malkovich and Faye Dunaway are playing types, but they play them well enough. Tchecky Kayro(I know I'm not spelling that right) and Vincent Cassel lend a sense of gravity to their roles as soldiers. But all in all, this is a movie whose reach was beyond its grasp.


13 of 23 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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