Film Review: ‘Mademoiselle de Joncquieres’

  • Variety
Film Review: ‘Mademoiselle de Joncquieres’
Like a crafty Casanova who masks his true intentions while assiduously charming his latest prey, “Mademoiselle de Joncquieres” takes a stealthy and slow-burn approach before fully revealing its true colors as a shrewdly choreographed roundelay of scheming, seduction and revenge in the spirit of “Les Liaisons Dangereuses.” Freely adapted from the same section of Denis Diderot’s “Jacques le Fataliste” that inspired Robert Bresson’s “Les dames du bois de Boulogne” — but, unlike Bresson’s modernized 1945 version (co-scripted with Jean Cocteau), set in the same 18th-century period as Diderot’s original — writer-director Emmanuel Mouret’s exquisitely mounted and beautifully photographed film begins as a leisurely paced dramedy of manners, brimming with archly clever bons mots and politely tamped passions. But then things take a darker turn, and the movie becomes all the more enjoyable as elegantly nasty fun with serious mortal stakes.

During the regency of Louis Xv, Madame de
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