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The Lady and the Duke (2001)
"L'anglaise et le duc" (original title)

6.9
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 1,865 users   Metascore: 72/100
Reviews: 33 user | 60 critic | 28 from Metacritic.com

During the French Revolution, a Scottish aristocrat and her former lover, the Duke of Orleans, find themselves on opposite sides of the conflict.

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(memoir "Ma vie sous la révolution"), (adaptation)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Le duc d'Orléans
...
Grace Elliott
Alain Libolt ...
Duc de Biron
Charlotte Véry ...
Pulcherie the Cook
Rosette ...
Fanchette
Léonard Cobiant ...
Champcenetz
François Marthouret ...
Dumouriez
Caroline Morin ...
Nanon
Héléna Dubiel ...
Madame Meyler
Laurent Le Doyen ...
Section Miromesnil: Officer
Georges Benoît ...
Section Miromesnil: President
Serge Wolfsperger ...
Section Miromesnil: Aide
Daniel Tarrare ...
Justin the Doorman
...
Madame Laurent
Michel Demierre ...
Chabot
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Storyline

An episodic look at Grace Elliott (1760-1823) and Philippe, the Duke of Orleans, during the French Revolution. In 1790, they are friends, no longer lovers. He suggests she leave France, she warns him to quit the Revolution. In 1792, she must escape Paris on foot. Less than a month later, she returns on an errand of mercy and shows great courage saving the governor of Tuileries. The Duke in turn steps in to protect Grace. In early 1793, she demands a promise from the Duke that he vote to spare Louis's life; he does not, and Grace is furious. In April, he warns her of a search; she is arrested and brought before the committee. Orleans, too, is suspect. The guillotine awaits. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | History | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some violent images | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

7 September 2001 (France)  »

Also Known As:

The Lady and the Duke  »

Box Office

Budget:

FRF 39,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$25,804 (USA) (10 May 2002)

Gross:

$329,845 (USA) (4 October 2002)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

|

Sound Mix:

|

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Chosen by "Les Cahiers du cinéma" (France) as one of the 10 best pictures of 2001 (#02) See more »

Connections

References The Far Country (1954) See more »

Soundtracks

Ça ira
by Bercourt, Claude Balbastre (as Balbastre) 1790
Performed by Jean-Louis Valéro
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User Reviews

Storybook revolutionary reminiscences
19 March 2002 | by (Sydney, Australia) – See all my reviews

This film was shown as part of the 2002 French Film Festival in Sydney and it is certainly very French, being pre-occupied with the morality of the French revolution, here seen from the aristocratic point of view of Grace Elliot, the Scottish ex-mistress of both George, Prince of Wales (later George IV) and the Duc d' Orleans, cousin of Louis XVI (who was a supporter, initially, of the Revolution). As played by Lucy Russell, Grace is an unwavering royalist who goes on living her gentlewoman's lifestyle in and around Paris, regardless of the dangers, which are considerable for someone like her. She has no sympathy with the revolutionaries and is horrified by the execution of Louis and his Queen, which she observes from afar.

Having once walked out of an Eric Rohmer movie (`Clair's Knee') rather than die of boredom, my expectations were not high. This movie (taken from Graces' memoirs) is mostly talk - gentlewomen did not, after all, engage in much action – but she does harbour an aristocratic fugitive at one point, to the Duke's dismay. Grace's relationship with her ex-lover, the portly and rather pompous Duke (Jean-Claude Dreyfus), is an intriguing one. She is not able to exercise much influence over him, not because of any lack of persuasive powers, but because he is too weak and irresolute to follow her advice. As a foreign woman living alone (she was widowed a year or two previously), she needs a powerful friend or two, but the Duke, for all his courtly manner, isn't a lot of help.

The cast weave in and out of stylised (and digitised) backdrops and this production style fits in well with the historical setting. The sets are intended to be seen as backdrops, unlike, say, the Coliseum scene in `Gladiator'). This has the effect of focusing the audience on the actors rather than be distracted by the set. It was brave of Rohmer to adopt such an innovative format, but it works well here. There are a few dramatic moments such as when Grace is hauled before the local revolutionary committee on suspicion of spying for Britain (naturally the most handsome revolutionary takes her side). It is however basically a talk show (`what I did in the revolution I hated'), and often rather slow. Lucy Russell, though, is quite compelling as Grace, and this time at least I was not driven from the theatre.


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