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.,
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,
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 »
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 »
Young Queen Margot finds herself trapped in an arranged marriage amidst a religious war between Catholics and Protestants. She hopes to escape with a new lover, but finds herself imprisoned by her powerful and ruthless family.
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
There is no question that director Vicente Aranda has taken considerable liberty with generally accepted history, but despite this and a few flaws within the context of certain scenes, what we have is an excellent story, and one very well recounted and acted.
It will come as absolutely no surprise for those who have seen this film to know that Pilar Lopez de Ayala (as Juana I) and Rosana Pastor (Elvira, Head of Queen´s Household) are nominated in the lead and supporting categories of the Spanish Goya Film Awards, and, despite having been ignored by the Golden Globes, this film should be in contention for Oscar Consideration as Spain´s representation for the "Best Foreign Film" of 2001. Frankly, the performances just mentioned were so stunning, especially Pilar Lopez de Ayala, that I would consider her among nominees for Best Actress at the Oscars, not only given the absolutely pathetic list the Golden Globes presented in the Drama category, but simply because Pilar Lopez de Ayala DESERVES IT, much as did Fernanda Montenegro in the Brazilian masterpiece "Central Do Brazil" just a few years back.
For the historians among the viewing public, my recommendation is to simply look the other way on the bit of revisionism on display, given that far greater crimes have been committed by Hollywood as regards same. The story is excellent, the costumes & design, art direction, cinematography, and above all film editing are simply tops -- and film editing has been a GREAT problem in US films in recent times. Go and see it and I DO MEAN the original version! Rating = 4 stars (of five).
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