Sunday, May 29, 2011

the princess of montpensier

la princesse...


france, the sixteenth century, war between catholics and protestants rages. away from the war, marie de mezieres (melanie thierry) finds herself betrothed to her cousin, but it his brother, henri de guise (gaspard ulliel), who has stolen her heart. however, in the sixteenth century marie has little say or control over whom she is to be betrothed and she soon finds that one potentially arranged marriage is usurped by another as her father decides that having philippe de montpensier (gregoire leprince-ringuet) as his son-in-law would be much more beneficial to him, despite marie having never met him.

despite her protestations. marie finds herself we to philippe, who is almost instantaneously is called away to war; leaving his wife in the company and protection of count chabannes (lambert wilson). chabannes is an aging nobleman with no love of war, who takes marie under his wing, schooling her as he prepares her for life in court. still, the undisputed charms of marie, the princess of montpensier, are set to cause her trouble...

adapted by veteran french director bertrand tavernier (and long-time collaborator jean cosmos), from madame de la fayette's short story, this is a fun and sumptuous affair; beautifully presented and performed. the narrative isn't filled with many surprises, but weaves its way along its path, with sexual tension and intrigue aplenty.

i guess i should say that melanie thierry, who has to carry the burden of being a much treasured and sought after object of desire, carries said burden with no small amount of charm and beauty. and, she has the task of trying to weave her way through a selection of well groomed and coiffured gentlemen. what's a girl to do?

any how, style and substance make this a very enjoyable watch indeed. i think i might like to see it again when it hits the cinema, considering i watched it on a tiny screen aboard an aeroplane...

out on general release in july...

No comments: