1429. While the war between France and England (the Hundred Years War) appeared settled in 1420, in England's favour, the death of King Henry V of England reignites it. England occupies large areas of France and appears set to take the whole of it. Into this moment of crisis rides legendary Joan of Arc, a teenage girl who claims to be lead by divine visions.Written by
At the beginning of the film when Joan is lying by the river to the right of the screen you can see someone's pants and then a camera. See more »
1420. Henry V, King of England, and Charles VI, King of France, sign the Treaty of Troyes. The treaty states that the kingdom of France will belong to England upon the king's death. But the two kings die a few months apart. Henry VI is the new king of England and of France, but he is only a few months old. Charles VII, the Dauphin of France, has no intention to abandon his kingdom to a child nor even to his tutor, the Duke of Bedford. A bloody war begins and the English, along with...
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The European release was 10 minutes longer than the US theatrical version, which omits, among others, the scene where Joan's virginity is tested before the court of King Charles VII. The longer version has been released in the USA on DVD. See more »
I know next to nothing about the Joan of Arc story, but I've liked Luc Besson's work, and the trailer was terrific, so I was looking forward to this movie, even after the bad reviews. As might be expected from a Besson film, it looked incredible. The battle scenes were all well-handled, and as the warrior Joan, Jovovich was quite convincing. The rest of the movie was something else again.
It seems to me Besson and his co-writer, Andrew Birkin, were trying to do what Kenneth Branagh did in his version of HAMLET; look at the lead character not as an icon, but as a normal human being, and try to explain their actions and behavior in that context. Admittedly, since I am unfamiliar with this story, I am more receptive to this approach than those who hold Joan as an icon, but I would have been more than willing to watch a movie which handled this material well. Unfortunately, once Besson established which way he wanted to go, he seemed unsure of how to get there. Most of the drama is handled on a third-grade level(especially her trial), and we never really get into what made Joan tick. Though the scenes with Dustin Hoffman were involving, especially since he was so good, they too fell short in explaining Joan. And Jovovich can't quite access those depths yet.
The rest of the cast is okay. Malkovich and Faye Dunaway are playing types, but they play them well enough. Tchecky Kayro(I know I'm not spelling that right) and Vincent Cassel lend a sense of gravity to their roles as soldiers. But all in all, this is a movie whose reach was beyond its grasp.
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