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Jeanne Poisson, the headstrong, ambitious foxy daughter of fishmonger and married to a physician, but witty and erudite, catches the eye and heart of French King Louis XV at a costumed ball. She masters the art of seduction well enough to become accepted even by the Queen, corpulent mother of ten. As a sensibly chosen Royal 'favorite' mistress she is soon ennobled Marquise of Pompadour to facilitate her introduction at court. The immature dauphin (crown prince) proves a bitter and unrelenting enemy, joined by his imposed Saxon bride, and his sister at her deathbed. Although friends at court help Pompadour return, her health gives way. Written by
Pretty good introduction to the period and ambiance.
Jeanne Poisson is perfectly cast. It all turns around her, the success or the failure of such a biopic. She is expressive, you can see in her expression the different nuances of a real person, not only a character. Vincent Perez is a fine king. Frivolous and capricious but also moderately intelligent, and a good pillow talker :). Both are stunningly beautiful, an enviable couple. Élisabeth is almost as beautiful as the Marquise, but her role is pale. The Queen is magnanimous as it should. Henriette, the younger daughter, is the best of his family in what regards Jeanne, and also the nicest.
Morals are pretty strict but at the same time not as today's. Everybody is against the Marquise for she's "sinful", but no kids are allowed in court, for instance. Thus, the idea of family is definitely different. Now presidents even parade their children.
Literarily, the film is spotless. Many great lines are delivered effortlessly. Important and trivial. One thing I really liked was the "lessons of court behaviour" given by the Abbé Bernis. "One has no right for private life at the cour" or "politics and current events are strictly forbidden". MdP: "Then, I can only speak gossip?". The verbal duels at the court, the snobbery, slights she endures, Voltaire is not at all what he should. The places, palaces, interiors, are just breath taking. Music is what I liked the most. Barroque all the time! Mostly Rameau, but also Pancrace Roger, Forqueray, even "The elements (chaos)" by J-F. Rebel. Played by les Musiciens du Louvre, "les Arts Florissants", or "Orchesta of the XVIIIth century" (!). Directed by Minkowsky, Jordi Savall, T. Koopman, William Christie, edited by Harmonia Mundi... "La rejouissance" is the name of the main ensemble... The comparison with nowadays's is cruel! Photography is fine when it is given a chance. Dusk shots with a cloudy sky and palaces are easy to render beautiful, but sublime is another thing. The "generic music" is a bit hateful, like for most TV series, but it's highly endurable at least, if a bit pompous. Adélaïde, the Dolphin and her other enemies are a bit over the top, but make for fine easy obstacles :). Abel, Jeanne's brother, is not a very clear character.
The movie has enough hot scenes for being made for TV.
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