Try not to get too confused by the politics of this Mid 16th century drama of Court Intrigue and simply enjoy the acting, costumes, and cinematography of this French film by noted director Bertrand Tavernier. The battle scenes are intense as religious wars ravage France but that doesn’t stop the quest of noblemen to arrange marriages for the consolidation of power. Marie (Melanie Thierry) is the victim of just such an arrangement as she is promised to the shy young Prince of Montpensier (Gregiore Laprince-Ringuet) even though she loves the impetuous Duke de Guise( Gaspard Ullier). She is advised by her mother to reject her true feelings and obey her scheming father and that sets off this tale of heartbreak and jealousy. Things are complicated by the attentions of Marie’s pacifist tutor Count De Chabannes, marvelously played by Lambert Wilson (the head Monk in this year’s “Of Gods and Men”), and the Duke of Anjou (Raphaël Personnaz), the heir to the French throne, with a winning performance as a handsome cad who enjoys the court intrigue more than the prospect of the throne. It all has a sort of “dangerous Rom-Com”feel about it with plenty of what we would call teenage angst. Melanie Thierry is gorgeous as Marie and can also be seen raising temperatures in “The Other Dumas”, another period film which I saw last night at the fabulous Minneapolis St. Paul International Festival (with Gerard Depardiu as the famed author Alexandre Dumas). The sub-titles should get some credit for being well done and easy to follow. “The Princess of Montpensier” has nudity and violence so it’s not for the kiddies but if your a fan of French Period films this will be your cup of tea, or should I day mead.
My GPA: 3.4