The Princess of Montpensier

The Princess of Montpensier  {La princesse de Montpensier}
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The Princess of Montpensier
La princesse de Montpensier
France, 2010, 135 Minute Running Time
Additional Countries: Germany
Topics: Drama, History, Romance
Program: World Cinema Now
Language: French English Sub-Titles

Bertrand Tavernier is in top form with this gripping, superbly mounted drama set against the savage Catholic/Protestant wars that ripped France apart in the 16th century. Based on a novella by the celebrated Madame de Lafayette, the action centers on the love of Marie de Mezières for her dashing cousin Henri de Guise, thwarted when her father’s political ambitions force her into marriage with the well-connected Philippe de Montpensier, who she has never met. When Philippe is called away to fight, she is left in the care of Count Chabannes (the always excellent Lambert Wilson), an aging nobleman with a disdain for warfare, and soon becomes exposed to the sexual and political intrigues of court.

Steeped in French literary and filmic traditions, this serious drama does not forgo the swashbuckling, bodice-ripping pleasures and passion of the great costume drama. Melanie Thierry delivers a career-making role as Marie, portraying her as a heroine of genuine grandeur. Tavernier’s eye for detail is astonishing and if we didn’t already know it, this account of one of France’s darker, more tormented periods of history definitively shows him to be a consummate film artist.

DIRECTOR: Bertrand Tavernier
Producer: Eric Heumann
Editor: Sophie Brunet
Screenwriter: Jean Cosmos, Bertrand Tavernier, François-Olivier Rousseau
Cinematographer: Bruno de Keyzer
Music: Philippe Sarde
Principal Cast: Melanie Thierry,Lambert Wilson, Gregoire Leprince-Ringuet, Gaspard Ulliel
Filmography: In the Electric Mist (2009), Holy Lola (2004), Safe Conduct (2002), It All Starts Today (1999), The Bait (1995), Daddy Nostalgia (1990)
Print Source: IFC Films -

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