Farewell, My Queen

This is a movie that came out last year about the last days of the court of Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI as seen through the eyes of one of her servants. It is based on the bestselling book from 2004. For those of you that like costume dramas, this has plenty to look at (costumes and occasionally what's underneath them), but the film is really concerned with showing the complete lack of organization among those involved at Versailles during the chaotic beginnings of the French Revolution.

Perhaps because of this, the film is not very tightly plot driven. It depicts a very insulated universe where small amounts of information about the outside world are filtered in through gossip. We follow these characters, not really ever knowing much about them. So, be foreworned that the film doesn't really ever "go anywhere". Yet, I found that the world it displayed interesting enough. The main character is played by upcoming actress Lea Seydoux (herself a kind of French cinema royalty, as granddaughter and grandniece of the Chairmans of Pathé and Gaumont, the two legendary French film distributors), who just shared in winning the Palme d'Or at Cannes last month for her newest film. Diane Kruger plays Marie Antoinette with a kind of transfixing, sheltered naivete that borders on lunacy. The DVD is in French with English subtitles, as one would expect from a French movie set in France. For another take (surely more historically inaccurate, yet in English), there's Sofia Coppola's Marie Antoinette.

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