Jefferson In Paris (1995)

JAMES IVORY

Bil’s rating (out of 5):  B

France/USA, 1995.   Touchstone Pictures, Merchant Ivory Productions, Centre National de la Cinématographie.   Screenplay by .   Cinematography by .   Produced by .   Music by .   Production Design by .   Costume Design by , .   Film Editing by , .   Cannes Film Festival 1995.   

Low point for Merchant Ivory, this completely brainless period epic examines the years when Thomas Jefferson (Nick Nolte) was American minister to France, entertaining a romance with a married aristocrat (). Also starring a just pre-fame Gwyneth Paltrow, the film suffers from a terrible screenplay by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala that has little purpose: is it about Jefferson’s professional success or is it an examination of his personal life? A subplot involving the speculation over his relationship with a slave played by is also a sad misfire. Gorgeously plush like any film by this dynamic trio of filmmakers, it’s really quite a shame how much of a failure this film is.

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