Biography of Camille Claudel. Sister of writer Paul Claudel, her enthusiasm impresses already-famous sculptor Auguste Rodin. He hires her as an assistant, but soon Camille begins to sculpt ... See full summary »
An aspiring young physician, Robert Merivel found himself in the service of King Charles II and saves the life of a spaniel dear to the King. Merivel joins the King's court and lives the ... See full summary »
Robert Downey Jr.,
Queen Victoria is deeply depressed after the death of her husband, disappearing from public. Her servant Brown, who adores her, through caress and admiration brings her back to life, but ... See full summary »
The death of King Henry VIII throws his kingdom into chaos because of succession disputes. His weak son Edward, is on his deathbed. Anxious to keep England true to the Reformation, a ... See full summary »
Helena Bonham Carter,
Juana is married off by her pious parents, the Catholic kings Ferndinand of Aragon and Isabella of Castille, to ally Spain, united by their marriage, to the Burgundian and other Habsburg heritage of archduke Maximilian's son Philip. When they meet, it's love at first sight, for her all-consuming, for him one of many happy bed partnerships as she later discovers. Deaths in her family soon make Juana Isabella's heir, but Ferdinand suggests she inherited her grandmother's madness and supports Philip's ambition to rule instead, which becomes the stakes of political maneuvering in the Cortes (nobility-dominated parliament). Combined with Philip's incurable infidelity, which includes a Moorish whore-princess, multiple drama is inevitable, and worse follows. Written by
Allegedly the "true story" of Juana de Castilla, the eldest daughter of the Catholic Queen Isabella (yes, the same who funded Columbus's expedition), the film charts the progress and degeneration of her morbid obsession with her husband, the Archduke Philip of Austria, known as "The Handsome" (and played in a rather unispired manner by Italian hunk Daniele Liotti, at his most buttery and beefy here). This is a groan-inducingly familiar story of late 15th c., early 16th c. intrigue, betrayal and bodice-ripping. It drips destructive lust from start to finish. But while La Reine Margot succeeds in making cruel sensuality and ruthless, cut-throat intrigue entertaining to watch, Juana La Loca just doesn't pull off. It just ends up feeling like a big-budgeted soap opera, with below-average, lazy or over-keen acting. Liotti looks positively bored and Pilar López de Ayala in the title role though to be fair she may mature into a proper talent just seems to be trying too hard, switching back and fourth from two-dimensional horny-looking to spoilt teenage hysterics all the way through. Some of the supporting cast are OK, with the exception of Manuela Arcuri, another Italian pin-up, voluptuous and beautiful but really no "actress" to speak of. I couldn't in fact bring myself to feel any concern towards any character, nor for that matter did I feel strongly in a negative way against any of the supposed villains. What a waste of a substantial film budget! This one, sadly, is just so rhetorical and deja-vu, nodding to other films in the genre rather than to its source material - history - for inspiration. It seems to me that such a fascinating and complex historic era deserved a far superior film-maker to evoke it.
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