Corbiau repeats the Farinelli formula, artistic rivalry and social private drama expressed in dazzling, sometimes excessively lavish baroque scenery, music and costume, but this time in its...
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Corbiau repeats the Farinelli formula, artistic rivalry and social private drama expressed in dazzling, sometimes excessively lavish baroque scenery, music and costume, but this time in its ultimate setting: Versailles. There are two protagonists - first the title character, Louis XIV, the French sun-king who has two passions, establishing absolute rule over the realm -after decades of religious/civil wars- by divine right and artistic brilliancy as a dancer (like Nero wrote and performed musical poetry), and starts asserting himself against the entourage of his Medici mother, the regent during his minority, by building his palace complex and launching a 'fitting' new, mainly musical display of baroque show. Secondly the musical genius Gianbattista Lulli ('Jean-Baptiste') Lully, a Florentine upstart of unbridled ambition, quickly gains the king's absolute trust, despite the nationalist and aristocratic opposition to a low-born Italian, and thus turns the normally socially humble post ...Written by
The movie misses a better plot, it deserves a better plot when shooting at the Versailles and dealing with Louis XIV. Not that it is bad, just don't expect too much. The costumes, the location, the music, the historical facts, it all seems to be present, but the director just didn't make good use of it. It is an entertaining movie for those who like costume-dramas though, be not mistaken. I had expected it to be better. The characters are well drawn, the actors are good enough, especially the Queen and the Dance Master. The director did not fear the use of some explicit body-language, something that I applaud, it fits well in this landscape of courtly love.
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