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.
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The night of August 24, 1572, is known as the Massacre of St. Bartholomew. In France a religious war is raging. In order to impose peace a forced wedding is arranged between Margot de Valois, sister of the immature Catholic King Charles IX, and the Hugenot King Henri of Navarre. Catherine of Medici maintains her behind-the-scenes power by ordering assaults, poisonings, and instigations to incest.Written by
Oliver 'Asana' Duex <email@example.com>
Patrice Chereau edited the original cut of the film (roughly 160 minutes) to a smaller 138 minutes for international release. This was due to a disappointing box-office performance in France and the criticism (by, among others, Variety critic Todd McCarthy) of the film as being too violent and often incoherent. The French press were scathing of this 'American censorship' (they described the film as having been 'given a face-lift' for American audiences) but the new version was defended by various French critics being both more coherent whilst also maintaining Chereau's artistic vision. The shorter cut was later released in France too, in the hopes of increasing the film's box-office takings. See more »
The music used in the wedding scene, a paraphrase of the finale of the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel's Messiah, was written more than two hundred years after the events of this film. See more »
The St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre---not exactly a subject the average person knows much about these days. But, a VERY important part of French and European history nonetheless. The history teacher in me will now BRIEFLY take over: Like England, there was a lot of tension between the Protestants (Hugenots) and Catholics during the 16th century. However, unlike Henry VIII's ultimate decision to break from the Catholic Church, the French pretty much wiped out the Hugenots--those who were not killed fled abroad. Up until St. Bart's Day, there had been tension but eventually the king granted religious freedom to all. This was not to last, as a conspiracy was hatched and on St. Bart's Day, thousands of Hugenots were murdered. To commemorate this event, the Pope issued a special medallion and ordered a celebration. Not exactly one of the finer moments in human history.
The movie concerns the machinations leading up to the event as well as portraying the massacre and the after effects. I'm not going to say more, as I don't want to spoil it for the viewer. However, I will say that the writing, acting and pacing of this film were excellent and kept my attention throughout. This fictionalized account of this true-life tragedy is compelling.
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