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The Affair of the Necklace
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The Affair of the Necklace (2001) More at IMDbPro »

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The Affair of the Necklace -- The controversial true story of Jeanne De La Motte Valois stars Hilary Swank, as a countess whose name and title were stripped from her by the Royal Family, leaving her penniless.


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Up 18% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Writer (WGA):
John Sweet (written by)
View company contact information for The Affair of the Necklace on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
7 December 2001 (USA) See more »
This summer, one woman wins..... See more »
In pre-Revolutionary France, a young aristocratic woman left penniless by the political unrest in the country, must avenge her family's fall from grace by scheming to steal a priceless necklace. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Nominated for Oscar. Another 1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
There's really only one thing you need to know about this flick See more (60 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Hilary Swank ... Jeanne St. Remy de Valois

Jonathan Pryce ... Cardinal Louis de Rohan

Simon Baker ... Rétaux de Vilette

Adrien Brody ... Count Nicolas De La Motte

Brian Cox ... Minister Breteuil

Joely Richardson ... Marie-Antoinette

Christopher Walken ... Count Cagliostro

Hayden Panettiere ... Young Jeanne
Simon Kunz ... Minister of Titles

Paul Brooke ... Monsieur Bohmer
Peter Eyre ... Monsieur Bassenge
Frank McCusker ... Abel Duphot
Simon Shackleton ... Louis XVI
Hermione Gulliford ... Nicole Leguay d'Oliva
Geoffrey Hutchings ... President D'Aligre
James Vaughan ... Magistrate Titon

Jonathan Newth ... Magistrate de Marce
Kristina Bill ... Irène de Valois

James Larkin ... Darnell de Valois

Diana Quick ... Madame Pomfré
Helen Masters ... Madame Campan
Victoria Shalet ... Colleen

Christophe Paou ... Pierre Charron
Michel D'Oz ... Marquis de Favras (as Michael D'Oz)
Donna Flandrin ... Dowager in Boat
Liz Baker ... Dowager in Boat
Dick Brannick ... Gamekeeper

Daisy Bevan ... The Princess Royal
Thomas Dodgson-Gates ... The Dauphin

Caroline Loncq ... Madame de Largo
Illona Linthwaite ... Madame Briffault
Miranda Pleasence ... Rosalie
John Grillo ... Dr. Legear
Mélodie Berenfeld ... Mademoiselle Subur

Ben Miles ... Baron Courchamps
Niky Wardley ... Madame de Neiss
Bill Thomas ... Tailor
Emma Wride ... Tailor's Daughter
Stephen Noonan ... Camille Desmoulins

Emma Pike ... Mademoiselle in Pink
William Chubb ... Gendarme
Hallie Meyers-Shyer ... Demonstrating Girl
Jocelyn Linder ... Angry Demonstrator
John Comer ... Angry Demonstrator (as John Commer)
Angus Wright ... Sanson
Christopher Logue ... Sir Hargrave

Cate Fowler ... Lady Standish
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Skye McCole Bartusiak ... Dove (scenes deleted)
Eva Decastelo ... (uncredited)

Directed by
Charles Shyer 
Writing credits
John Sweet (written by)

Produced by
Stacey Attanasio .... co-producer
Kira Davis .... co-producer
Nigel Goldsack .... associate producer
Broderick Johnson .... producer
Andrew A. Kosove .... producer
Nava Levin .... line producer: additional shoot
Redmond Morris .... producer
Charles Shyer .... producer
Original Music by
David Newman 
Cinematography by
Ashley Rowe (director of photography)
Film Editing by
David Moritz 
Casting by
Kerry Barden 
Mark Bennett 
Billy Hopkins 
Suzanne Smith 
Production Design by
Alex McDowell 
Art Direction by
Jean-Michel Ducourty 
Jean-Michel Hugon (supervising art director)
Set Decoration by
Philippe Turlure 
Costume Design by
Milena Canonero 
Makeup Department
Claudia Bianchi .... hair stylist: Prague
Angela Bolli .... hair stylist: Prague
Jana Carboni .... assistant makeup artist
Iole Cecchini .... hair stylist
Desideria Corridoni .... hair stylist
Maria Teresa Corridoni .... supervising hair stylist
Paolo Franceschi .... hair stylist
Alberta Giuliani .... hair stylist
Isabella Gonzalez .... hair stylist: Prague
Enrico Iacoponi .... makeup artist
Carla Indoni .... hair stylist: Prague
Vincenzo Mastrantonio .... makeup artist (as Enzo Mastrantonio)
Mario Michisanti .... key makeup artist
Radek Petr .... makeup assistant: Prague
Zdena Prchlíková .... hair stylist: Prague (as Zdena Prchlikova)
Frantisek Prihoda .... makeup assistant: Prague
Barry Richardson .... hair stylist: Prague
Gino Tamagnini .... key makeup artist
Laura Tonello .... assistant makeup artist
Eva Ungrová-Malíková .... hair stylist: Prague (as Eva Ungrova)
Monika Fischer-Vorauer .... hair stylist (uncredited)
Pamela Roth .... makeup artist: Los Angeles tests (uncredited)
Daniela Skala .... crowd makeup & hair artist (uncredited)
Renate Skala .... crowd hair stylist (uncredited)
Zoe Tahir .... dailies hair stylist (uncredited)
Production Management
Sandrine Ageorges .... unit manager: Paris
Brad Arensman .... post-production supervisor
Jean-Pierre Avice .... production manager: Paris
Jana Hrbková .... unit manager: Prague (as Jana Hrbkova)
John Kay .... production manager: Prague
Ales Komárek .... production supervisor: Prague (as Ales Komarek)
Petr Moravec .... production supervisor: Prague
Ondrej Nerud .... production manager: Prague
Jan Unger .... unit manager: second unit, Prague
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
David Campi-Lemaire .... second assistant director: Paris
Michel Cheyko .... first assistant director (as Mishka Cheyko)
Yann Cuinet .... third assistant director: Paris
Roman Fara .... second assistant director: Prague
Richard Graysmark .... second assistant director
Alice Ronovska .... first assistant director: Prague
Nick Shuttleworth .... co-third assistant director
Alex Streeter .... third assistant director
Marie Rolindes .... third assistant director: Paris (uncredited)
Adrian Toynton .... second assistant director (uncredited)
Art Department
Les Andrews .... stand-by props
Jakub Berdych .... stand-by painter: Prague
Matthieu Beutter .... assistant art director: Prague
Mark Lambert Bristol .... key storyboard artist (as Mark Bristol)
Miroslav Buberle .... props: Prague
Stepan Cerveny .... assistant construction manager: Prague
Benoît Clémenceau .... props buyer (as Benoit Clemenceau)
Miluse Doubravova .... props coordinator: Prague
Miluse Doubravova .... props interpreter: Prague
Alain Dufrenoy .... chief painter
Jaromir Franta .... scenic artist: Prague
Ian Fryer .... storeperson
Jean-Paul Gaillot .... chief construction: Paris
Denis Gambs .... chief carpenter: Paris
Christophe Hugon .... swing gang: Paris
Danny Hunter .... property master
Roman Illovsky .... draftsperson: Prague
Vladimir Janosek .... property master: Prague
Adam Jirkal .... model maker: Prague
Miroslav Karmazin .... props: Prague
Jacques Kazandian .... chief draper (as Jacques Kazandjian)
John Knight .... chargehand dresser
Lenka Kourilova .... props interpreter: Prague
Karel Kucera .... props: Prague
Martin Kurel .... art director: Prague
Dita Lampová .... draftsperson: Prague (as Dita Lampova)
Stéphane Le Lièvre .... chief painter (as Stephane Lelievre)
Edita Leva .... art department interpreter: Prague
P.K. MacCarthy .... storyboard artist (as Kevin McCarthy)
Peter Manger .... property trainee stand-by
André Marchandet .... chief plasterer: Paris (as Andre Marchandet)
Adam Marcias .... swing gang: Paris
Philippe Margottin .... props: Paris
Colin Mutch .... stand-by props
Vladimir Planansky .... construction manager: Prague
Lucie Pokorná .... art department runner: Prague (as Lucie Pokorna)
Arnaud Putman .... assistant props
Marketa Puzmanova .... art department coordinator: Prague
Jacques Quinternet .... props buyer
Peter Ramsey .... storyboard artist
Marek Sima .... stand-by props: Prague
Caroline Sina .... chief draper
Michal Slama .... art department interpreter: Prague
Stanislav Suva .... scenic artist: Prague
Dalibor Tvrznik .... swing gang: Prague
David Voborsky .... assistant art director: Prague
Howard Weaver .... scenic artist: Prague
Pavel Werner .... swing gang: Prague
Radan Kapinos .... stand-by props: Prague (uncredited)
Gary Damian Thomas .... storyboard artist (uncredited)
Sound Department
Laura Harris Atkinson .... dialogue editor (as Laura Harris)
Jean-Marie Blondel .... sound mixer: Paris
Kerry Ann Carmean .... sound editor (as Kerry Carmean)
Gail Clark Burch .... adr editor (as Gail Clark)
Tony Dawe .... sound mixer
Dino Dimuro .... foley editor
Jim Fitzpatrick .... sound re-recording mixer
Nerses Gezalyan .... foley mixer
Adam Jenkins .... sound re-recording mixer
Randy Kelley .... sound editor
Tony Lamberti .... sound designer
Kimaree Long .... dialogue editor
James Moriana .... foley artist (as Jim Moriana)
Kelly Oxford .... supervising sound editor
Frédéric Pardon .... boom operator: Paris (as Frederic Pardon)
Michelle Pazer .... adr editor
Scott Sanders .... sound editor
Katrina Siegmund .... assistant sound editor
David Stanke .... assistant sound editor
Pál Szûrös .... boom operator: Prague (as Pal Szuros)
Vojtech Vetrovec .... cable person: Prague
Jeffrey Wilhoit .... foley artist (as Jeff Wilhoit)
Michael D. Wilhoit .... supervising sound editor (as Mike Wilhoit)
Wendy Czajkowsky .... adr mixer (uncredited)
Kimaree Long .... adr editor (uncredited)
Colin Nicolson .... additional sound crew (uncredited)
John Warhurst .... adr & crowd editor: UK (uncredited)
Special Effects by
Kamil Jaffar .... special effects technician: Prague
Martin Kulhánek .... special effects supervisor: Prague (as Martin Kulhanek)
Frantisek Mesícek .... special effects technician: Prague (as Frantisek Mesicek)
Gilbert Piéri .... special effects supervisor: Paris (as Gilbert Pieri)
Jirí Vojtech .... special effects technician: Prague (as Jiri Vojtech)
Dave Crownshaw .... snow effects supervisor (uncredited)
Martin 'Marty' McLaughlin .... snow effects technician (uncredited)
Kevin Pike .... special effects supervisor: preproduction (uncredited)
Lucien Stephenson .... snow effects supervisor (uncredited)
Visual Effects by
Tabitha Dean .... visual effects editorial: CFC
Julia Egerton .... digital lab: CFC (as Julie Egerton)
Ian Fellows .... digital paint artist: CFC
Adam Glasman .... digital lab: CFC
Darrel Griffin .... digital lab: CFC
Henrik Hoffgaard .... digital lab: CFC (as Henrik Hoffgard)
Jan Hogevold .... head of digital lab: CFC
Merrin Jensen .... digital lab: CFC (as Merrin Jenson)
Drew Jones .... visual effects producer: CFC
Roz Lowrie .... visual effects editorial: CFC
Stephen Murphy .... CG animator: CFC
Mark Nelmes .... digital visual effects supervisor: CFC
Dominic Parker .... supervising CG animator: CFC
Dominic Sidoli .... visual effects coordinator: CFC
Gavin Toomey .... compositing artist: CFC
Ken Dackermann .... digital compositor (uncredited)
Ondrej Stibinger .... telecine colorist dailies (uncredited)
Rudolf Bok .... stunts: Prague
Jiri First .... stunts: Prague
Michal Grün .... stunts: Prague (as Michael Grun)
Rene Hajek .... stunts: Prague
Petr Hnetkovský .... stunts: Prague (as Petr Hnetkovsky)
Jiri Horky .... stunts: Prague
Pavel Hulinko .... stunts: Prague
Petr Hynek .... stunts: Prague
Dusan Hyska .... stunts: Prague
Paul Jennings .... stunt coordinator
Jindrich Klaus .... stunts: Prague
Pavel Kratky .... stunts: Prague
Jiri Kraus .... stunts: Prague
Robert Lahoda .... stunts: Prague
Dimo Lipitkovsky .... stunts: Prague
David Listvan .... stunts: Prague
Ivan Listvan .... stunts: Prague
Jaroslav Peterka .... assistant stunt coordinator: Prague
Jaroslav Peterka .... stunt coordinator (as Peterka Jaroslav)
Miroslav Lhotka .... stunt performer (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Tomas Belohradsky .... assistant video assist operator: Prague
Martin Brych .... camera loader: Prague second unit
Martin Bublik .... electrician: Prague
Peter Byrne .... clapper loader
Pavel Caslavsky .... gaffer: Prague
Milan Chadima .... director of photography: second unit
Ian Clark .... focus puller
Murray Close .... still photographer
Tony Devlin .... rigging gaffer
John Evans .... clapper loader
Darren Harvey .... best boy electric
Tomás Hruska .... focus puller: Prague second unit (as Tomas Hruska)
Radek Kapusta .... grip: Prague
Václav Korcik .... best boy electric: Prague (as Vaclav Korcik)
Karel Kralik .... electrician: Prague
Andy Long .... gaffer
Vince McGahon .... Steadicam operator: Prague
Seamus McSwiney .... video operator: Paris
René Michalicka .... pre-rigging gaffer: Prague
Jirí Nosek .... electrician: Prague (as Jiri Nosek)
Jirí Novak .... pre-rigging electrician: Prague (as Jiri Novak)
Giles Nuttgens .... director of photography: title sequence
Andy Ormesher .... chargehand rigger (as Andy Ormersher)
Miroslav Pavlik .... video assist operator: Prague
Alastair Rae .... Steadicam operator: Paris
John Robinson .... dolly grip
Roland Safr .... generator operator: Prague
Prokop Satochin .... grip: Prague
Jaromir Simek .... pre-rigging electrician: Prague
Petr Svoboda .... electrician: Prague
Alf Tramontin .... Steadicam operator: Prague
Alain Valdebouze .... key grip: Paris
Petr Valenta .... pre-rigging electrician: Prague
Chris Banting .... dolly operator: "a" camera (uncredited)
Jean-François Drigeard .... gaffer (uncredited)
Jean-Pierre Voisin .... electrician (uncredited)
Casting Department
Molly Clayton .... casting assistant: New York
William Davies .... casting assistant: UK (as Will Davies)
Deborah Maxwell Dion .... casting associate: Los Angeles
Maureen Duff .... casting assistant: UK
Louis Elman .... adr voice casting
Alberte Garo .... extras casting: Paris
Gail Stevens .... casting: UK
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Rosanna Andreoni .... wardrobe mistress
Tereza Bradova .... interpreter: Prague wardrobe department (as Tereza Bradacova)
Francesca Brunori .... assistant costume designer
Anne-Marie Castaño-Padovan .... costume assistant (as Anna Marie Castano Padovan)
Nathalie Cercuel .... costumer: Paris
Patricia Colin .... costumer: Paris
Iva Dobrovska .... interpreter: Prague wardrobe department
Jasna Dolejsi .... wardrobe assistant: Prague
Ilona Holeckova .... costume cutter: Prague
Ilona Holeckova .... tailor: Prague
Claudette Lilly .... costume assistant
Gabriella Loria .... assistant costume designer (as Gabriella Louise Loria)
Rossano Marchi .... assistant costume designer
Mara Masiero .... costume assistant
Germinal Rangel .... costume supervisor
Cristiana Ricceri .... costume assistant (as Christiana Ricceri)
Maria Pia Rossi .... costume cutter
Maria Pia Rossi .... tailor
Jana Smetanova .... wardrobe assistant: Prague
Florentina Tica .... costume assistant
Jana Vanova .... wardrobe assistant: Prague
Jarka Vesela .... wardrobe mistress: Prague
Editorial Department
Glenn Cowan .... assistant film editor
Peter Ettinger .... assistant film editor
Dale E. Grahn .... color timer (as Dale Grahn)
Monika Hlavatá .... editing assistant: Prague
Lionel Johnson .... assistant film editor
Ivan Martin del Campo .... apprentice film editor
Michelle Mendenhall .... first assistant film editor
Tia Nolan .... additional film editor
Daniel R. Padgett .... first assistant film editor
Theresa Repola Mohammed .... negative cutter
Kristen Young .... post-production assistant (as Kristin Young)
Babette Dickerson .... assistant editor (uncredited)
Location Management
Claire Augé .... location manager: Paris
Isabelle Gautier .... supervising location manager: Paris
Dan Hampel .... location manager: Prague (as Daniel Hampel)
Petr Kalina .... location manager: Prague
Jiri Kotlas .... assistant location manager: Prague (as Jiri 'Effa' Kotlas)
Olivier Servanin .... location manager: Paris
Ivan Vakarac .... location manager: Prague
Jiri Krejcir .... location manager (uncredited)
Music Department
Bruce Botnick .... scoring mixer
Elin Carlson .... chorus
Sandy DeCrescent .... music contractor
Vivien Ellis .... music researcher
Marty Frasu .... scoring sound designer
Richard A. Harrison .... music editor
Gregory Jamrok .... orchestrator
Rebecca R. Liddle .... orchestrator
Jill Meyers .... music clearance
David Newman .... orchestrator
Krystyna Newman .... scoring consultant
Bobbi Page .... vocal contractor
Paul Rabjohns .... music editor: temp music
Jeanette Surga .... music editor
Andrew Silver .... music supervisor (uncredited)
James Thatcher .... musician: French horn (uncredited)
Transportation Department
Segolene Amice .... driver: Paris
Martin Cerny .... driver: Prague
Jaroslav Cirkva .... driver: Prague
Catherine Denoyelle .... transportation captain: Paris
Dominik Houska .... driver: Prague
Pavel Jumar .... driver: Prague
Petr Jumar .... driver: Prague
Jan Kuzelik .... driver: Prague
Franklin Pedrosa .... transportation manager: Paris
Jirí Ris .... driver: Prague (as Jiri Ris)
Jiri Svenek .... driver: Prague
Vladimir Vonasek Jr. .... driver: Prague
Vladimir Vonasek .... driver: Prague
Frantisek Zunt .... driver: Prague
Jean-Marie Modet .... production driver: Paris (uncredited)
Olivier Suffert .... production driver: Charles Shyer (uncredited)
Other crew
Lea Andrlinková .... production assistant: Prague (as Lea Andrlinkova)
Julie Avice .... office production assistant: Paris
S.J. Berwin .... legal services
Cynthia Blaise .... additional dialect coach
Bruce A. Block .... filmic consultant
Christine Bodelot .... production accountant: Paris
Jan Boucek .... unit nurse: Prague
Derek Boyes .... assistant: Charles Shyer
Catherine Brianza .... accountant: Paris
François Broussard .... accountant: Paris (as François Brossard)
Maria Luisa Capobasso .... milliner
Joanny Carpentier .... production coordinator: Paris
Magda Chýlková .... assistant accountant: Prague (as Magda Chylkova)
Sarka Cimbalova .... production coordinator: Prague
Dagmara Cisarovska .... interpreter: Prague make-up/hair department (as Dagmar Cisarovska)
Rudy Darden .... production assistant: Los Angeles
Vicki Deason .... London contact: Help! Unlimited (as Vicky Manning)
Eva Decastelo .... production assistant: Prague (as Eva Aichmajerova)
Judy Dickerson .... dialect coach (as Judi Dickerson)
Diana Dill .... script supervisor
Zbynek Dolezal .... unit nurse: Prague
Deirdre Doorley .... travel coordinator
Barbora Drevikovska .... assistant: Ms. Swank, Prague
Rachel Eggebeen .... assistant: Charles Shyer
Joan Eisenberg .... unit publicist
Jakub Eliasek .... production assistant: Prague
Christopher Fealy .... assistant: Andrew Kosove and Broderick Johnson
Veronika Goccova .... production assistant: Prague (as Veronika Gocova)
Michael Goldberg .... production controller (as Mike Goldberg)
Thomas Graham II .... pro tools technician
Linda Gregory .... production accountant
Vaclav Hanka .... production assistant: Prague (as Vaclav 'Vendelin' Hanka)
Elizabeth Himelstein .... additional dialect coach (as Liz Himmelstein)
Polly Hope .... assistant production coordinator
Chris Huddleston .... assistant: Charles Shyer (as Christopher Huddleston)
Emma James .... assistant production coordinator: Prague
Ricky Jay .... technical consultant
Karel Korejs .... cashier: Prague
Libor Kurka .... horse master: Prague
Ashifa Lalani .... assistant accountant
Michel Lebranchu .... horse master: Paris
Anezka Lencova .... accomodations coordinator: Prague
Gina Leonard .... assistant: Kira Davis
Karri Lucas .... assistant: Kira Davis
Sarah Millar .... location accountant (as Sarah Miller)
Nicole Miloux .... accountant: Paris
Sam Montiforte .... post-production accountant
Christi Moore-Brantley .... production controller (as Christi Brantley)
Belita Moreno .... acting consultant
Ali Moshref .... assistant accountant
Larry Moss .... acting consultant
Joe Murphy .... midi import
Jana Nemcova .... trainee script supervisor: Prague
Geraldine Niche .... production secretary: Paris
Petra Novotná .... coordinator: Prague horse and carriage (as Petra Novotna)
Anna Orazi .... workshop mistress
Lisa Parker .... production coordinator
Kate Penlington .... assistant: Redmond Morris
Jiri Rezac .... extras coordinator: Prague
Dagmara Rezacova .... extras coordinator: Prague
John Rodd .... crewman: Newman scoring Stage
Jean-Louis Rodrigue .... movement specialist
Lubica Ruzickova .... interpreter: Prague accounts
Jindra Sladek .... production assistant: Prague
Molly Smith .... assistant: Andrew Kosove and Broderick Johnson
Sarka Smolcakova .... production assistant: Prague
Ladislav Spica .... extras coordinator: Prague
Darko Stavrik .... production assistant: Prague
Tom Steel .... crewman: Newman scoring Stage (as Tom Steele)
Danuse Supkova .... unit nurse: Prague
Trystram Sylvain .... assistant: Ms. Swank, Paris (as Sylvain Trystram)
David Vinar .... production assistant: Prague
Pavel Vokoun .... horse master: Prague
Kirsten Wing .... travel coordinator: Paris
Christopher Wride .... historical consultant
Keith Young .... choreographer
Julia Alexander .... director associate (uncredited)
Michael J. Harker .... completion bond representative (uncredited)
Veronika Lencova .... production assistant (uncredited)
Erick M. Medina .... production insurance (uncredited)
Marc-Antoine Trani .... set runner (uncredited)
Vera Trousilová .... assistant accountant (uncredited)
Garson Yu .... title designer (uncredited)
Deva Anderson .... special thanks
Jerry Belson .... special thanks
Peter Chelsom .... special thanks
Mike Knobloch .... special thanks
Alan Mandel .... special thanks
Lani Pollock .... special thanks
Dorothy Shuford .... special thanks
Alan Spencer .... special thanks
Steve Tyrell .... special thanks
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Rated R for some sexuality
USA:118 min
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

In the 1938 film Marie Antoinette (1938), Norma Shearer refused any complimentary make-up for the final scene showing her character going to the guillotine. She wanted to look as haggard and exhausted as the real queen had in her final moments. In the final scene for this movie, Joely Richardson expressed the same effects as she tried to convey as her reflection can be viewed in the water bucket beside guillotine before the beheading.See more »
[first lines]
Narrator:Napoleon wrote that military blunders and domestic catastrophes fanned the flames of the French Revolution. But the cu-de-gras was a curious palace scandal involving woman of nobility denied, a member of the royal family, and the most magnificent string of jewels in all of Europe. This notorious intrigue came to be known as, L'affaire du Collier.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in The 61st Primetime Emmy Awards (2009) (TV)See more »
AriadneSee more »


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53 out of 75 people found the following review useful.
There's really only one thing you need to know about this flick, 15 April 2003
Author: Karen (surreyhill) from Oxford, PA

Napoleon once said that the French Revolution was caused by The Seven Years War, the Phylloxera grapevine fungus, and The Affair of the Necklace. It lasted for many years, eventually culminating in the Napoleonic Wars and the Empire Waist dress. It is surprising to the serious student of history that three causative factors were implicated, as the screenplay for the Affair of the Necklace alone is surely sufficient cause to put a few assorted heads on the block.

The Affair of the Necklace involves a historical scandal in the court of Marie Antoinette. Hilary Swank plays a young woman in a marriage of convenience to Adrien Brody's character, who feels her ancestral lands and family name were unjustly seized and taken from her by the French crown. She thinks if she can get to court and lay her tragic history before Queen Marie Antoinette, that the Queen's feminine heart will be moved by her plight. So, she marries the Compte de la Motte in order to get a title which will admit her to court. Marrying Adrian Brody has to rank right up there with La Gwyneth's marriage to Colin Firth in SIL on the all-time Top 10 ranking of "Least Odious Arranged Marriages of Convenience in Motion Picture History".

There's a lot of skullduggery involving licentious, ambitious Cardinals, jewelers who never hit on the fruity scheme of busting up an unsold necklace they were seriously in hock for making and selling off the diamonds individually, and a very odd charlatan psychic type mesmerist/seer played by the preternaturally-creepy Christopher Walken.

I could tell you more, but why? This movie is beautifully-photographed, lavishly costumed, and by and large, dreadfully acted, edited, and directed. I cannot even begin to tell you how bad Hilary Swank is in it. The 1,000 word limit precludes that entirely. And as for editing, when your cuts cause characters heads to jump around in the frame, that's bad.

I didn't expect much, though, since from the very get-go, the movie violated Surreyhill's First Law of Bad Historical Costume Drama: If the Dogs are wrong, forget the rest. They give Marie Antoinette a Chinese Crested as a lap dog, which is a big gaffe, since the first Cresteds were first brought to Europe in the mid 1850's, and this was to England, as part of a zoological exhibition. But then, I think that the Cresteds weren't the only members of the cast who were chosen for their interesting and unusual looks, as opposed to their actual suitability to play the part.

The Cast is pretty high-octane for a movie that basically bombed at the box office and garnered lukewarm reviews. Christopher Walken is joined by Swank and Brody, and let us not forget Jonathon Pryce. Simon Baker is appealing in a beige pantyhose sort of way as the hero, but when your hero is a gigolo who hopes to personally profit from the sale of what is essentially stolen property, you are entering interesting territory, particularly if your lipliner also wanders around a bit, as Baker's does. The problem with Baker is that he seemed to have great difficult taking his lines seriously, and one can see why. There are some real clunkers in this movie, and also, it relies heavily on voiceover narration to make the plot comprehensible, and this is another sign a movie is in big trouble. It violates almost every rule of "show, don't tell".

I was disgruntled to find much time elapsed before first appearance of Adrian Brody. However, he does play "The Compte" and Surreyhill's Second Corollary of bodice-ripping clearly states that any male character under 45 who has the title of "Compte de ________" is to be considered sexy, whether villainous or heroic, as Comptes are by definition, sexy.

This Compte mutters his lines in a weird "method" hybrid of Brando and Queens, while the rest of the cast is assuming an English accent, which causes cognitive dissonance, since the movie is set in France and stars mostly Americans.

Brody certainly does his best to kick some life into the plot, and he and Walken seem to be the only cast members who seem to have copped to the notion that they AREN'T in a serious, art-house type film which will accrue numerous Oscar nods, but that they are instead in the cheesiest of cheesy historical bodice-rippers and may as well have a bit of fun with it. There is little to ponder for most of the first third of the movie other than Simon Baker's neatly-tied queue, until this interesting and unusual-looking man shows up and starts waving a sword around. Apparently, there is some sort of rule in this movie that all fights must be Shirts/Skins, and in the case of the first duel, Simon Baker is shirtless while Brody is dressed to thrill.

But unfortunately for those of us who would prefer an extended shirts/skins dueling sequence, the plot grinds on and the necklace is put into play, and the Compte ends up being chased through the streets of Paris by a flatfooted officer of the guard. This has to be the lamest, most unathletic chase scene I've ever seen filmed. It also points up one of the main problems with the film, which is that some of the characters just were all over the map. The Compte has gone from being a agile hot-tempered duelist--quick to pull out his blade and make use of it, to an ineffectual drunk effete decadent, to a clever schemer, and now he is a man who cannot seem to get out of his own way, or out of the way of horses, fruitcarts, and peasants holding baskets of veggies. He finally escapes by jumping into a canal, or the Seine, or something, and presumably, this was in the days of open sewers, so the next place we encounter him is getting out of his bathtub claiming that he was so frightened he nearly soiled himself. He is bathing, moreover, in the presence of both his wife and her lover, Simon Baker. They're just all one big happy family of co-conspirators. Well, except that the Compte gets angered at some crack the lover makes about his manhood (they both mumbled their way through it as though both were embarrassed by the script so for all I know he was saying that the Compte's father was a hamster, and his mother smelt of elderberries), morphs into a dripping-wet, homicidal, Cesare Borgia clone, and goes after Simon Baker with a knife in one hand, while holding a towel around his waist with the other. I found it a bit tragic that the only conveniently-located weapon was a knife, and not a two-handed weapon, like a grenade launcher or Scottish claymore, for reasons that should be obvious, but the movie kept its R rating, I guess.

One more observation from my notebook--the filmmakers seemed to have the idea that they needed to establish the Compte's "Character" by having him be either drinking, holding a glass of some sort of alcoholic beverage as if about to take a drink, reaching for a bottle, or going over to the sidebar to fill himself a glass in every scene. Yes, even the scene in the towel. Even when he is riding a horse, for the love of all mercy! Even when he is eating a bon bon. Even when he is having a bullet extracted from his hiney. The only real exception was when he was going after the gigolo with the knife, as it would clearly have been difficult to hold a drink, the knife, AND the towel without dribbling Beaujolais down all over his, er, without getting it all over the front of his towel. And yet, the character is never actually shown as being sloppy drunk, despite drinking continuously from morning to night.

Clearly, our Compte has a head like a cast iron skillet. Or the filmmakers think that the audience does, and unless they beat us over the heads repeatedly, we won't get it straight.

Anyhow, there is really only one thing you need to know about this movie.

Bon Bon Scene + Adrien Brody = a Man Who Knows How to Use His Tongue.

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