21 user 25 critic

The King Is Dancing (2000)

Le roi danse (original title)
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... See full summary »


Gérard Corbiau


Ève de Castro (scenario, adaptation and dialogue), Andrée Corbiau (scenario, adaptation and dialogue) | 3 more credits »
1 win & 5 nominations. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Benoît Magimel ... Louis XIV
Boris Terral Boris Terral ... Jean-Baptiste Lully
Tchéky Karyo ... Molière
Colette Emmanuelle Colette Emmanuelle ... Anne d'Autriche
Cécile Bois ... Madeleine
Claire Keim ... Julie
Johan Leysen ... Cambert
Idwig Stephane Idwig Stephane ... Prince de Conti
Emil Tarding Emil Tarding ... Louis XIV (14 Years Old)
Jacques François ... Cambefort
Caroline Veyt Caroline Veyt ... Armande Béjart
Ingrid Rouif Ingrid Rouif ... Mme de Montespan
Philippe Quercy Philippe Quercy ... Mazuel
Pierre Gérald Pierre Gérald ... Boesset
Claude Koener Claude Koener ... Narrator of Ballet de la Nuit


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 KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | History | Music


See all certifications »

Did You Know?


The small violin Lully plays when conducting the orchestra is called a 'pochette', so called because it could be carried in a coat pocket. See more »


Referenced in Evening Urgant: Philip Kirkorov (2020) See more »


Ballet d'Alcidiane: Ouverture
Written by Jean-Baptiste Lully
Conducted by Reinhard Goebel
Performed by Musica Antiqua Köln
See more »

User Reviews

Dance with a wolf.
14 July 2003 | by dbdumonteilSee all my reviews

This movie focuses on one side of Louis the fourteenth's reign:the patron Sun King.All the best artists who were living at the time were working for the King,from the painters to the musicians to the chefs (see "Vatel" whom Louis stole from Fouquet).

Although a lot of famous historic characters appear (Colbert,Louvois,La Vallière,Maintenon),only five emerge :the threesome KIng/Lulli/Molière and ,at the beginning, two silhouettes ,the Queen mother,Anne d'Autriche ,and the king's cousin,Conti.

The king,played with talent by Benoit Magimel,who shows himself a first-class dancer ,is not exactly the king we find in history books:okay,he rules alone,but a lot of time is given over to arts ..in the first part of his reign,the king was first a soldier :the fine arts connoisseur came only second.(music,dance,gardens...).

Lulli (or Lully depending on whom you ask)was an Italian,so it's very surprising -and it's the main flaw of the whole film- he speaks without the slightest accent.Of course,and probably because c'est à la mode,the director doesn't pass over Lully's homosexuality but he does not lay great stress on it,preferring to give music more than its due:Lully's was majestic and magnificent,the KIng Music par excellence.

Tcheky Kario shines as Molière and gives what will probably be his lifetime role.A jaded and coughing actor/playwright/director whose genius was still brilliant,he had to cope with sanctimonious persons (les dévôts de la compagnie du Saint-Sacrement)and leter with Lully's jealousy.

The last Lully -Molière collaboration,"le bourgeois gentilhomme" (arguably Molière's funniest work),made Molière a visionary who was beginning to see theater as a complete show .The Turkish ceremony " in "le bourgeois gentilhomme" and its celebrated menuet (sadly not included in the film) were forerunners of the musicals.But Lully,who played the "Mufti" in the play ,felt like a buffoon and feared that the king might favor Molière over him.

Lully wanted to be a king and" a king ain't satisfied till he owns everything "as Bruce Springsteen sings ,so the dancer became a wolf .Molière was not his one victim :he actually put down all his rivals and had a complete stranglehold on the king's music.

Some users complain about Courbiau's baroque style:since at least one third of the time is dedicated to arts ,what's the point of being realist and austere ?We're not dealing with Rossellini directing "la prise du pouvoir par LOuis XIV",dash it! Okay ,some sequences are ponderous -Molière's death on stage while playing "le malade imaginaire" did not need this dancers dressed up as skeletons,for instance.But if cinema means change of scenery,"le roi danse" pulls it off with gusto.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 21 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.



France | Germany | Belgium



Release Date:

6 December 2000 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

A király táncol See more »


Box Office


$21,000,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Everything That's New on Netflix in December

No need to waste time endlessly browsing—here's the entire lineup of new movies and TV shows streaming on Netflix this month.

See the full list

Recently Viewed