Bertrand Tavernier is in top form with this gripping, superbly mounted drama set against the savage Catholic/Protestant wars that ripped France apart in the 16th century. Based on a novella...
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Bertrand Tavernier is in top form with this gripping, superbly mounted drama set against the savage Catholic/Protestant wars that ripped France apart in the 16th century. Based on a novella by the celebrated Madame de Lafayette, the action centers on the love of Marie de Mezières for her dashing cousin Henri de Guise, thwarted when her father's political ambitions force her into marriage with the well-connected Philippe de Montpensier, who she has never met. When Philippe is called away to fight, she is left in the care of Count Chabannes, an aging nobleman with a disdain for warfare, and soon becomes exposed to the sexual and political intrigues of court.Written by
Palm Springs Internation Film Festival
Patchy historical drama-romance let down by miscasting in central role.
Some of the best things in this lusciously mounted historical ramble are the battle and fight sequences. They are exciting and convincing, as is the picture's milieu. Some of the relationships sporadically command interest,despite the central character consistently failing to provide any spark. The Duke of Anjou is the most watchable; a wonderfully slimy character, whose complicated duplicity and arrogance is highly entertaining. The actress who plays the princess may have superficially attractive qualities, but she has no personality. She's a sponge, who gives almost nothing and inspires only restlessness and tedium. Had she been at least interesting this may well have been an exciting film. After a while this viewer couldn't care less what happened to her. A shame because everything around her is designed to make for a stimulating story. It should be shorter, and it should be re-cast. The real princess was supposed to be a beauty. Mlle Thierry is quite good looking, but I suppose, at the time of going into production there wasn't an available attractive actress who is also vivacious, and/or interesting, and not too expensive. Heigh ho.
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