(out of 5)

Uninspiring tale of Renaissance France tells of a similar time as depicted in The King Is Dancing, but with marginal improvement.  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 () 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.

Stéphan Films, France 3 Cinéma, AMLF, 3 Emme Cinematografica, Alhena Films, Multivideo, Eurimages, Canal+, Cofimage 5, Procirep

France/Italy/Spain/Switzerland, 1997

Directed by

Scenario by , Vera Belmont, , adaptation and dialogue by

Cinematography by

Produced by Vera Belmont,

Music by

Production Design by

Costume Design by

Film Editing by ,

Toronto International Film Festival 1997


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