The Borgias (2011–2013)
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The Borgias in Love 

Cesare Borgia takes the beautiful Ursula Bornadeo as his mistress and vows to revenge himself on her husband who has insulted his mother.


John Maybury


Neil Jordan (creator), Neil Jordan

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Jeremy Irons ... Rodrigo Borgia
François Arnaud ... Cesare Borgia
Holliday Grainger ... Lucrezia Borgia
Joanne Whalley ... Vanozza Cattaneo
Lotte Verbeek ... Giulia Farnese
David Oakes ... Juan Borgia
Sean Harris ... Micheletto
Steven Berkoff ... Girolamo Savonarola
Colm Feore ... Giuliano Della Rovere
Julian Bleach ... Niccolo Machiavelli
Ruta Gedmintas ... Ursula Bonadeo
Luke Pasqualino ... Paolo
Mickey Sumner ... Francesca
Peter Sullivan ... Cardinal Ascanio Sforza
Ronan Vibert ... Giovanni Sforza


Cesare Borgia takes an interest in the beautiful but married Ursula Bornadeo. Her husband had insulted him and his mother at Lucrezia's wedding and Cesare has every intention of seeking satisfaction. Lucrezia suffers at the hands of her brutish husband but takes an interest in a young stable boy, Paulo, a gentle lad who soon plots with her to get rid of his master. Cardinal Della Rovere visits the Duke of Milan to seek safe passage for an invading French army. The Pope dispatches his son to to speak to the Medicis about any plans they may have made with Della Rovere. The Pope entertains offers of marriage for his son Juan who is not keen with what is on offer. Another political wedding may be required. Written by garykmcd

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Canada | Hungary | Ireland



Release Date:

24 April 2011 (USA) See more »

Filming Locations:

Korda Studios, Etyek, Hungary See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

16 : 9
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Did You Know?


Although Giovanni and Ludivico Sforza are mentioned as being cousins, in reality they were brothers. See more »


Vanozza Cattaneo: You could leave the church and displease your father if you dare.
Cesare Borgia: I fear nothing, Mother.
See more »


The Borgias Main Titles
Written by Trevor Morris
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User Reviews

Still good but a few flaws tainted the painting this time
27 April 2011 | by igoatabaseSee all my reviews

All You Need Is Love, if only life was that simple. It's what Lucrezia learned the hard way at the end of the past installment. Watching such a delicate thing brutalized by her husband was just painful so I'm glad it only lasted a few seconds. In fact it's not surprising considering the premiere confirmed the show wasn't for voyeurs. It leads us to Lotte Verbeek who is just ravishing as Giulia Farnese, a perfect balance of grace and wit. I like how her every moves and words contrast with Jeremy Irons cold portrayal of Pope Alexander VI. That's why the very first scene was so pleasing. In the one hand it was unexpected and in the other it was well executed even if I found it too short. So I really hope the upcoming episodes will feature similar creative moments because they would be more than welcome. Moreover like in The Poisoned Chalice I also noticed a few interesting camera angles. Filming right in the eye of the beholder !

But despite its undeniable qualities, that conducted Showtime to order a second season the day after this 5th episode was aired, the show is beginning to reveal some weaknesses. The first could be Neil Jordan himself. It's only a speculation for the moment but the strength I mentioned in my previous review could actually be a weakness. Indeed the man wrote every single episodes and even if it guarantees that they don't jar with one another the drawback could be that some seemed too similar. As much as I regret it the problem is obvious with The Borgias in Love when you compare it to The Moor. Handsome young male for Lucrezia ? Checked. Romantic escape ? Checked. Grotesque families courting the Pope and his son ? Checked. It's not that it didn't make me laugh but I just hope it won't become a running gag. In fact I don't think it would be fair to only blame Jordan considering it could also be the director's fault. The important thing is that two episodes that partially look the same is not acceptable.

However these are minor issues compared to the numerous elements dedicated to appeal the audience. The first would be François Arnaud as Cesare Borgia who has given a convincing performance so far. I also appreciate his wicked relationship with the assassin and I really wonder how it will end. This time they were actually featured in a dynamic and intense swordfight. Was it just a tease ? So it was good entertainment but sadly it was almost ruined by an other duel. Too short, too dark, too much rain. It was just pouring and you shouldn't be able to identify the fighters ! Was it a twisted reference to Godzilla ? At least it made me laugh but I can't help thinking that it was an easy solution not to reveal the stuntmen even if the first fight occurred in bright daylight. Hopefully the confession scenes aren't doubled because they're a recurring ingredient one can only enjoy. It's specially true considering they're often controversial and featuring vicious gorgeous creatures. Last but not least one of the best elements was probably the difference between young and old characters. Lucrezia is naive, Giulia is manipulative. Her husband is violent, the servant has soft hands. They just don't know how to play the game yet when the Pope, Cesare and others have already reached the grandmaster league. Too smart for a TV show ? Never but if you're up to the challenge it can only pay off.

Note : For once I would like to address my readers and invite them to give me some feedback if they have a few minutes. Enjoyed this review ? Just feel like chatting ? You're more than welcome ! And please don't forget to objectively rate so I can know how many of you guys are there.

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