Bertrand Tavernier is in top form with this gripping, superbly mounted drama set against the savage Catholic/Protestant wars that ripped France apart in the 16th century. Based on a novella... See full summary »
The Art of Love (L'art d'aimer) is composed of several chapters following several Parisian couples. Isabelle (Julie Depardieu) has not had sex in a year. She declines an offer from her ... See full summary »
The gods don't like humans forcing the hand of fate. When Jo turns up in Greece with her sons even though she knows that the festival she founded has been cancelled because of the recession... See full summary »
In occupied France, German-run Continental Films calls the shots in the movie business. Assistant director and Resistance activist Jean Devaivre works for Continental, where he can get "in ... See full summary »
Nobody knows Auguste Maquet, and yet everybody knows "The Three Musketeers", Everybody knows Alexandre Dumas who wrote the swashbuckling masterpiece but who knows that Maquet is his ... See full summary »
Love draws a woman into unknown dimensions in this drama from France. Emma (Clemence Poesy) is a real estate salesperson who is visiting an airport when she meets Francois (Gaspard Ulliel),... See full summary »
Marie, a girl living alone, gets a new neighbour. The neighbour makes strange noises and hauls heavy sacks downstairs. One day he knocks on her door and asks her to keep a sack for a while. Mary opens it, and .
Bertrand Tavernier is in top form with this gripping, superbly mounted drama set against the savage Catholic/Protestant wars that ripped France apart in the 16th century. Based on a novella by the celebrated Madame de Lafayette, the action centers on the love of Marie de Mezières for her dashing cousin Henri de Guise, thwarted when her father's political ambitions force her into marriage with the well-connected Philippe de Montpensier, who she has never met. When Philippe is called away to fight, she is left in the care of Count Chabannes, an aging nobleman with a disdain for warfare, and soon becomes exposed to the sexual and political intrigues of court. Written by
Palm Springs Internation Film Festival
The character called Duc d'Anjou in this movie, later succeeded his brother Charles IX as King of France. He is known to history as Le Roi Henri III. Other big budget movies depicting him include Queen Margot (1994) and Elizabeth (1998). See more »
I don't think it's exactly a ten star picture, it's a modest film, despite the wide-screen, but I'm giving it ten because I think it is being undervalued here for failing to be what it's not trying to be. For example, the opening sequence is pretty strange action, I guess. No blood. A bit unrealistic in a way. But then suddenly, there it is. Real blood, real pain, real horror, out of nowhere. My feeling is that the "unreal" prior action exists to make the contrast hit home hard, creating a spiritual (to call it that) turning point out of butchery as usual. It's making a point.
But then I like Tavernier a lot, and I've learned to accept his way of coming at a story. Like his laid-back, almost lethargic version of Jim Thompson's brutal Pop. 1280, Coup de Torchon. The first time I saw it was frustrating; I thought he'd missed the book. Seeing it again, I just watched what was on the screen, and had a real good time.
Queen Margot, this film's more romantic twin, is one of my favourite movies because it pulses with so much colour and movement and life. The Princess of Montpensier is pulsing with something else. Pulsing with limitation? I don't know. The characters are all so trapped -- in the situation, in the era, in themselves. It's more sad than full blown tragic, and in that respect perhaps truer to life as it's lived and later understood, rather than dreamed. More like a Rossellini history film, say, than a contemporary, high production values epic.
Beautiful to look at and lovely to listen to though, no doubt about it. And yet, at the same time, dry (the way that wine can be) and philosophical, in the sense of resigned. A song of experience, and quietly sustained anger, that tugs at your mind rather than your heart strings. Which appealed to me. In the right mood, allowed to do it's own thing at it's own pace, it's really good. I didn't even want to return it to the library, I kept putting it off until I started getting emails.
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