7.2/10
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19 user 63 critic

Kings & Queen (2004)

Rois et reine (original title)
Parallel storylines tell the current state of affairs for two ex-lovers: Nora's a single mother who comes to care for her terminally ill father; holed in up in mental ward, Ismael, a brilliant musician, plots his escape.

Director:

Arnaud Desplechin

Writers:

Arnaud Desplechin (scenario & dialogue), Roger Bohbot (scenario & dialogue)

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9 wins & 17 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Emmanuelle Devos ... Nora Cotterelle
Geoffrey Carey Geoffrey Carey ... Claude
Thierry Bosc Thierry Bosc ... M. Mader
Olivier Rabourdin ... Jean-Jacques
Maurice Garrel ... Louis Jenssens
Valentin Lelong Valentin Lelong ... Elias Cotterelle
Olivier Borle Olivier Borle ... Le moniteur
Didier Sauvegrain Didier Sauvegrain ... Le chirurgien
Mathieu Amalric ... Ismaël Vuillard
François Toumarkine François Toumarkine ... Prospero
Miglen Mirtchev ... Caliban
Marc Bodnar Marc Bodnar ... Le psy de garde
Jean-Paul Roussillon Jean-Paul Roussillon ... Abel Vuillard
Catherine Rouvel Catherine Rouvel ... Monique Vuillard
Catherine Deneuve ... Mme Vasset
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Storyline

The stories of Nora during a brief period when her father falls ill and of Ismaël while involuntarily committed to a mental institution for observation. Nora's in her 30s and has loved four men - her son Elias, Elias's deceased father, her own father, and Ismaël, a musician given to odd behavior with whom she lived seven years. She will soon marry a businessman. Faced with her father's death, Nora seeks out Ismaël to ask that he reconnect with Elias; a great deal else roils from her past. Ismaël has his own challenges, not the least of which are his feelings toward adopting Elias and his meeting Arielle, another patient. Ismaël's surface shows a lot; Nora's, very little. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

France

Language:

French | English | German

Release Date:

22 December 2004 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Kings & Queen See more »

Filming Locations:

Grenoble, Isère, France See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$24,180, 20 May 2005, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$289,592, 4 December 2005
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

As of 2017, this is the only feature film by Arnaud Desplechin to not have its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival. See more »

Quotes

Nora Cotterelle: There are four men I loved. I killed two of them.
See more »

Connections

References Notorious (1946) See more »

Soundtracks

Do U Remember
by Marley Marl
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Compelling but Bloated French Melodrama
22 August 2005 | by WriterDaveSee all my reviews

Nora (the devastating and luminous Emmanuelle Devos) is a single mother who suddenly has to care for her dying father (a successful writer straining to put the finishing touches on his last book, a memoir of sorts) on the eve of marrying her new suitor. Ismael (the fantastic Mathieu Amalric) is her "ex-boyfriend" who cared for her son most of the boy's life, and is a struggling musician who suddenly finds himself trapped in the loony bin thanks to an over-zealous sister, a bitter friend, and a "judicial error." Director Desplechin (this is the only film I have seen of his) does a nice job flipping back and forth between the utter bleakness and emotional hell of caring for a dying parent, and the absurd serio-comic-horror of being stuck in the "crazy hospital" against your will.

There's a lot of play with psychoanalysis (highlighted by Catherine Denueve in a bit part as a psychiatrist) that is fun and illuminating to watch. There's speckles of romance, dark humor, nihilism, magic realism, and soap opera theatrics with lots of references to philosophy, mythology, and poetry that keep the film interesting and unpredictable even as its over two and a half hour run time tries your patience. There are plenty of revelations and big emotional payoffs here punctuated well with eclectic music choices (everything from classical pieces to some sort of catchy European hip-hop) and nice little surprises (Magalie Woch is delightful as the lovely suicidal mental patient who becomes smitten with Ismael). This utterly French film gives the viewer a lot to chew on, even if you have to gnaw through a bit of gristle before dining on the filet mignon.


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