27 user 60 critic

Queen to Play (2009)

Joueuse (original title)
Unrated | | Drama | 1 April 2011 (USA)
1:38 | Trailer

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Middle-aged chambermaid Hélène's newfound obsession with the game of chess leads her to seek the tutelage of a reclusive American expat, transforming both of their ho-hum lives in the ... See full summary »


Caroline Bottaro
2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Sandrine Bonnaire ... Hélène
Kevin Kline ... Kröger
Francis Renaud ... Ange
Jennifer Beals ... L'Américaine
Valérie Lagrange ... Maria
Alexandra Gentil Alexandra Gentil ... Lisa
Alice Pol ... Natalia
Élisabeth Vitali Élisabeth Vitali ... Marie-Jeanne
Daniel Martin Daniel Martin ... Le président du club d'échecs
Dominic Gould Dominic Gould ... L'Américain
Laurence Colussi Laurence Colussi ... Pina
Didier Ferrari Didier Ferrari ... Jacky
Valérie Tréjean Valérie Tréjean ... L'infirmière
François Orsoni François Orsoni ... Le journaliste
Christine Ambrosini Christine Ambrosini ... La femme de l'autocar


Middle-aged chambermaid Hélène's newfound obsession with the game of chess leads her to seek the tutelage of a reclusive American expat, transforming both of their ho-hum lives in the process. Written by Palm Springs International Film Festival

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Make sure your next move doesn't break hearts.




Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »


Official Sites:

Studio Canal [France]


France | Germany


French | English

Release Date:

1 April 2011 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Queen to Play See more »

Filming Locations:

Corsica, France


Box Office


€5,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

€367,739 (France), 9 August 2009, Limited Release

Opening Weekend USA:

$28,092, 3 April 2011, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$478,572, 28 August 2011
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (European Film Market)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | DTS



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The first chess game between Hélène and Kröger is not logically possible. The opening three moves are those of a conventional Scotch Game. Then, between White's fourth move and Black's fourth move, the pieces rearrange themselves on the board, allowing Black to checkmate White. See more »


Featured in Maltin on Movies: Conan the Barbarian (2011) See more »

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User Reviews

443rd Review: Excellent film on chess and on becoming more....
16 August 2011 | by inteleartsSee all my reviews

Joueuse is one of those French films that tenderly and charminlgly warms the heart - it is beautifully made with fine acting, a measured script, never too much or too little - and it rewards the viewer.

The plot of the cleaning lady who discovers chess and a mentor has strong fairytale tones: she is poor, he lives in a château but has withdrawn from the world. She has a husband who struggles to understand his wife's new found interest and growth, he struggles with human interaction. Throughout there is a nice balance around the relationships that makes sense.

Above all, this is a film about discovering that the things we do for pleasure bring their own reward. The chess is very well-handled throughout the film and it makes it fun to watch.

The film has heart, humour, and is nicely unmelodramatic. One of the better films I have seen recently, a pleasure to watch and simply enjoy.

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