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
In this movie, Diane Kruger speaks French with a German/Austrian accent - which is undoubtedly how the Austrian-born Marie Antoinette would have spoken herself. See more »
On several occasions when soldiers are marching through the main and side gates of Versailles, and also when Sidonie goes to Le Petite Trianon for the first time and falls into a puddle, you can clearly see the very 21st century anti-terrorism concrete security barriers and bollards flanking the gates. See more »
This is a modern historical drama. Characters are not well-developed, and their motivations are not clear. Why is Sidonie so devoted to the Queen? Why does she suddenly want to have sex with the gondolier? Instead, there is LOTS of atmosphere, which makes for one slow film.
You won't learn much about what actually happened in the week that followed the fall of the Bastille, since the story, to the extent that there is a story, is told through the eyes of one of the Queen's domestics. (It does remind you that, in a day not only before computers and the internet, but even television and radio, you could live 30 miles away from momentous events and have no idea what was going on.) Nor will you learn much about Marie-Antoinette or Louis XVI. The latter is a minor character here. MA comes off as very capricious, which she evidently was. But why? Again, there is no character development.
And then, finally, the movie stops, and you go "Oh, is it over?" As I said, LOTS of atmosphere. If that floats your boat, you might like this movie.
It did nothing for me, and I'm very interested in French history.
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