(out of 5)
Uninspiring tale of Renaissance France tells of a similar time as depicted in The King Is Dancing, but with marginal improvement. Sophie Marceau is brilliant as a country wench who is introduced to Moliere’s travelling theatre troupe and brought back to Paris to play for Louis XIV. Married to a key player in the great comedian’s group, she ends up seducing the entire palatial court with her exuberant dancing skills, though her heart is attached to her pug-faced little husband and she won’t give up her virtue. This is all put to the test when heartthrob playwright Racine (Lambert Wilson) whisks her away and writes a starring role for her in his play Andromaque, igniting a love affair so strong that even her husband can’t object. Character detail is a plus, as are the extremely convincing period recreations, but director Vera Belmont never produces a convincing enough reason for why this woman, whose story is taken from real life, should impress us so much. She ends up being just one of the many myriad of notable personalities to have taken part in the Sun King’s court, and should you be resigned to this fact before you watch the film, you might enjoy it more; otherwise, you might feel a little cheated.
Directed by Vera Belmont
Cinematography by Jean-Marie Dreujou
Produced by Vera Belmont, J. David Williams
Music by Jordi Savall
Production Design by Gianni Quaranta
Costume Design by Olga Berluti