The story begins on the autumn of 1654 in South France. Eloise lives in a cloister. Her famous father left her there. The young lady is enthusiastic about honour, faithfulness, affection to... See full summary »
Israel, 1967. Sacha and Laura have been living in a kibbutz near the Syrian border for two years. They are visited by Simon, Michel and Paul, three friends from Paris who have come to celebrate Laura's twentieth birthday. Simon is obsessed by the death of the girl he loved and during the birthday evening, attempts to find someone to blame amongst his friends. Laura alone knows that the young girl... See full summary »
In 1838, lovely governess Elisabeth agrees to bear a child of anonymous English landowner, and he will in return pay her father's debt. At birth she, as agreed, gives up the child. Seven ... See full summary »
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Marquise is a drama about the rise and fall of a beauteous actress. As cheerfully portrayed by Sophie Marceau, the eponymous heroine is an engagingly ribald, but perhaps rather too modern, character. She rises from an impoverished background to become a favourite of the Sun King, Louis XIV, and the mistress of the celebrated Racine, who wrote roles especially for her; but her fate, in the end, is a tragic one. Written by
Full of "cultural one-liners" like this, probably more common back then, in those times rules by language, than nowadays', this film is both for history and luxury buff as for those interested in social and class distinctions, the poor role of artists in the royal court, etc.
"Mharek" from Montréal writes: "one of the rare history movie that isn't done from a celebrity point of view".
This film is obviously a feast for Sophie Marceau lovers. We learn she dances quite well, for instance. Female director Véra Belmont drools on her figure as much as on royalty's excesses. As the Brazilian reviewers aptly puts it: "Sophie shines in all takes". But unlike later films starred by her like "L'âge de raison", in this film the plot is good, photography and music are superb, so you get carried away by the action, not just her looks.
Of course a stellar cast helps: the superb Bernard Giraudeau, a likable Patrick Timsit, a royally hateable Thierry Lhermitte, heartthrob Lambert Wilson, beautiful Marianne Basler and Polish rising star "Estelle Skornik".
Jordi Savalls performs the best period piece you could imagine. You get to see Versailles and Vaux-le-Vicomte in a new light, not as easy at it seems. There are some moving & emotional scenes, it's not only a "postcard movie" technically speaking.
As the NZ IMMB reviewer writes: "no one can make them like the French....". Showing both the grandeur and decadence, as the scholarly reviewer "dbdumonteil" writes on this site. side by side, as in real life, the French know what they're talking about when they do films about kings.
My favourite scenes have to do with water: the "public bath" of the Sun King and Marquise, and her dancing while it starts to rain in the beginning, shot like a TV publicity but effective.
Maybe a tad too long, and the ending may disappoint, but absolutely worthy watching!
PS: Some reviewers and plot summaries on this site do suggest the ending, so, dear reader, you're friendly warned :) .
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