Ten years before her death, Joan hears voices. Six years later, from the village of Domremy, she begins her mission to unite France under King Charles. First she leads a defense of ... See full summary »
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Ten years before her death, Joan hears voices. Six years later, from the village of Domremy, she begins her mission to unite France under King Charles. First she leads a defense of Vaucouleurs against the Burgundians, then obtains safe passage to Charles, the Dauphin. He uses her, as the embodiment of the mythical "Maid of Lorraine," to raise an army, and he sends her to the rescue of Orléans. After Charles is crowned, Joan leads a disastrous campaign in Paris, where her brother dies. Then she's the victim of Charles's manipulations: she's captured in Burgundy, sold to the English, examined by Bishop Cauchon, found a heretic by the Inquisition, and burned at the stake. Written by
When Raymond is shot by the crossbow, the arrow that hits him has black feathers on it, but as he falls off his horse the feathers are white. See more »
At Agincourt, I lost my faith in my country, & I came to believe in myself. At Orleans, I lost my faith in myself, & I came to believe in you.
[starts to leave]
We are now both utterly alone... & only I have the courage to admit it.
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A Decent Effort To Deal With A Controversial Figure
Overall, I enjoyed this movie. I thought it was well put together and well researched and definitely gave the viewer a flavour of the times in which it was set: 14th century France (although the movie was actually filmed in the Czech Republic.)
Leelee Sobieski put on a very convincing performance as Joan of Arc, the young girl who hears what she believes are divinely inspired voices calling her to unite the French people and lead them in rebellion against their English conquerors. To his credit, director Christian Duguay leaves the origins of the voices very much to the discretion of the viewer. They may or may not be real; Joan may or may not be imagining them. What's important (and historically accurate) is that Joan herself believed in the voices, and they inspired both her and the French nation. Powers Booth and Jacqueline Bisset were believable as Joan's understandably confused parents trying to decide whether their daughter is divinely called or simply rebellious (or possibly insane.) Peter O'Toole was well cast as Bishop Cauchon (and the religious divisions of the time, just before the open outbreak of the Protestant reformation, was well presented) and I was surprisingly impressed by Neil Patrick Harris as King Charles.
All that sounds good, and yet I can't find myself going higher than 6/10 on this. Somehow, in spite of the good performances and well put together story I found the movie inexplicably difficult to follow, and frankly much too long. An hour could have easily been cut out of it and not missed. To me, that's a major weakness. It doesn't destroy the movie. This is still a good movie worth watching. But for me, it just misses the point of moving from good to very good.
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