Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.5. Italy/United Kingdom, 2001. Fiction Films, Recorded Picture Company, Medusa Film, Navert Film, Odeon Film. Screenplay by Clare Peploe, Marilyn Goldin, Bernardo Bertolucci, based on the play Le Triomphe de l’Amour by Marivaux. Cinematography by Fabio Cianchetti. Produced by Bernardo Bertolucci. Music by Jason Osborn. Production Design by Ben Van Os. Costume Design by Metka Kosak. Film Editing by Jacopo Quadri. National Society of Film Critics Awards 2002. Toronto International Film Festival 2001.
In this sun-drenched romance adapted from Marivaux’s play, Mira Sorvino plays a princess whose father before her had usurped the throne from the king of the land she now rules. Intending to return her kingdom to its rightful heir (Jay Rodan), she finds the task complicated by the fact that she has fallen madly in love with him. Visiting his house where he has been raised by his guardians Ben Kingsley and Fiona Shaw to hate all women and her in particular, she disguises herself first as a man to be allowed to stay on the grounds, and then later reveals herself in order to capture his heart. Her ability to stay also involves keeping the charade up in order to convince Shaw that she is in love with her, while convincing Kingsley of the same when the jig is up. Though never very deep, the film is bouncy and charming, gorgeously photographed and kept alive by a vibrant performance from the lovely Sorvino.