Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB
Original title: Le Roi Danse
France/Germany/Belgium, 2000. K-Star, France 2 Cinéma, Canal+, Procirep, MMC Independent, K-Dance, K2 SA, RTL-TVi, Filmstiftung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Centre du Cinéma et de l’Audiovisuel de la Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles, Eurimages. Screenplay by Eve de Castro, Andree Corbiau, Gerard Corbiau, with the participation of Didier Decoin, based on the book Lully Ou Le Musicien du Soleil by Philippe Beaussant. Cinematography by Gerard Simon. Produced by Dominique Janne. Music by Daniel Lipnik. Production Design by Hubert Pouille. Costume Design by Olivier Beriot. Film Editing by Philippe Ravoet, Ludo Troch.
During the reign of Louis XIV the “Sun King” (Benoît Magimel), the Parisian court’s primary musician Lally (Boris Terral) is a hotheaded Italian genius who is in love with his king and composes solely to see him dance. Lally has a wife and a mistress who both care very deeply for him, but neither of them can infringe upon the fierce passion he feels for Louis, nor can they understand what drives him to such artistic heights. Unfortunately, neither can we; Corbiau’s film delves not one whit into the relationship between these two interesting figures, leaving Magimel (who is excellent despite the drawbacks to his role) an aloof and unknowable icon and Terral an intense but thoroughly unlikable and unknowable brute. The feel for the period is authentic, and the few music and dancing scenes are lovely, but on the whole there’s not much to learn and even less to appreciate. A definite waste of a good possibility.