1830s Paris. Novelist George Sand (Judy Davis), who is known to be writing her memoirs, is causing a sensation in the literary scene not only for the quality of her writing, but because of her extreme views and manners, including blurring the lines between the sexes - she generally wearing men's clothes - and her non-belief in the sanctity of marriage after having gone through the institution once before, now preferring sexual liaisons outside of her own wedlock, with the marital status of her lovers of no concern to her. She is just coming to the end of a turbulent affair with Jean Pierre Félicien Mallefille (Georges Corraface), who she is now trying to avoid in his continual pursuit of her. Despite thinking it will be a bore because of their insufferable hostess, she invites herself to a weekend gathering of some of France's greatest artistic and creative minds - many who are attending solely for a weekend of free food - at the country estate of the Duke (Anton Rodgers) and Duchess ...Written by
One of Hugh Grant's first leading roles, and he was virtually unknown in the U.S. when this aired on PBS's Masterpiece Theatre in early 1990s. See more »
[picking up a picture]
This your family?
No, that's my fiancée. Well, we're no longer engaged. Um, her family didn't feel that I was a very good risk for a husband. You know, no one really expects me to live very long.
I beg your pardon?
I don't believe you're, you're ill at all. You just need more strength. Take mine. Really - I have too much of it.
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This film is a little different than most "period" films in that its characters, although known historical figures, are real people and certainly not above swearing, throwing fits, drinking, smoking or carousing. A wonderful comedy romance with an outstanding performance by Judy Davis as George Sands.
It is also interesting to note how closely the plot of this movie resembles that of Renoir's classic "Rules of the Game": 1) group of romantically and socially inbred cityfolk go to the country, 2) romantic and social inbreeding continue in the country, 3) people slipping from room to room, 4) mistaken identity, 5) hunting in the woods, 6) big hunting scene, 7) gender-bending, 8) poking fun at the upper classes, and 9) climactic theater performance chock full of satire and causing some conflict. This similarity can be no accident.
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