The Princess Of Montpensier (2010)


Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB

Original title:  La Princesse de Montpensier

France/Germany, 2010.  , StudioCanal, France 2 Cinéma, France 3 Cinéma, Pandora Filmproduktion, Outsider Productions, Canal+, CinéCinéma, France Télévision, Cinémage 4, La Banque Postale Image 3, Centre National de la Cinématographie, Filmförderungsanstalt, Région Auvergne, Centre Images, MEDIA Programme of the European Union.  Screenplay by , , Bertrand Tavernier, based on the short story by .  Cinematography by .  Produced by , , .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  Cannes Film Festival 2010.  

Handsome, intelligent period drama based on the novel by Madame de la Fayette, about a minor noblewoman caught in the middle of major political intrigue. Young Marie (an excellent ) madly loves Henri de Guise () but is devastated when her father forces her to marry the Prince of Montpensier () whom she does not know, in the interest of a political union of their families. Encouraged to make her life easier by submitting to authority, Marie decides to leave behind her youthful passion and commit herself to being a good and devoted wife to her husband, but his impetuous jealousy eventually drives her back into the arms of her lover. This personal drama is further complicated by the goings-on at court when the powerful Duke of Anjou (a standout ) becomes interested in her, and men begin to be sent off to religious wars. Bertrand Tavernier’s intelligent script and direction are sometimes a bit dry with painfully accurate detail, but it is nevertheless a wholly satisfying three course meal of historical information, human passion and aesthetic accomplishment, highlighted by excellent performances from a uniformly wonderful (and beautiful) cast.

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