In July 1789, the French Revolution is rumbling. Far from the turmoil, at the Château de Versailles, King Louis XVI, Queen Marie-Antoinette and their courtiers keep on living their usual carefree lives. But when the news of the storming of the Bastille reaches them, panic sets in and most of the aristocrats and their servants desert the sinking ship, leaving the Royal Family practically alone. Which is not the case of Sidonie Laborde, the Queen's reader, a young woman, entirely devoted to her mistress; she will not give her up under any circumstances. What Sidonie does not know yet is that these are the last three days she will spend in the company of her beloved Queen...Written by
Madame de la Tour Du Pin, as portrayed in the film, is a middle-aged woman who is both stout and charmless and seemingly unmoved by the drama of the coming French Revolution. In reality, Madame de la Tour Du Pin was in her early 20s when the events of this film are taking place and was exceedingly charming, attractive and outgoing. She was extremely instrumental in planning her family's escape from France to the United States and very unlike the way she is portrayed in the film. See more »
Farewell, My Queen is a sumptuous visual treat and faux-historical romp from French writer and director Benoit Jacquot.
Set mainly in Versailles over three days as the Bastille is stormed and the French Revolution gains unstoppable momentum, this is a lavish production with superb costume design and sets.
Shown mainly from the point of view of the servants to the royals and aristocrats, the film makes good use of France's palatial architecture and neatly shows the difference in the opulence of the super rich compared to the squalid conditions of their largely loyal and deferential lackeys. The film is beautifully shot, both inside and out, and allows the audience to feel they are being given a personal guided tour of one of France's greatest museums loaded with fine art and antiques.
The story focuses on seduction and loyalty between protagonists within the palace and their reaction to the unfolding history which is mainly off-screen. Regrettably, however, the film, which is strongly female orientated in cast and storyline, titillated with lesbian longing and did so in a salacious and voyeuristic manner. It could have amounted to so much more.
This is a film that will appeal to all those who mourn the passing of Downton Abbey.
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