Sunday, May 16, 2010

The Renaissance at Cannes

The sixteenth century is making a splash this year at the Cannes Film Festival.

Veteran French director Bertrand Tavernier has entered his first film in twenty years in this year's Palme d'Or competition. Reuters calls La Princesse de Montpensier, set in 1562 during the Wars of Religion, "one of the finest costume dramas in a long while." Based on the eponymous novel penned by Madame de Lafayette in 1662, the film tells the story of a young noblewoman "torn between passion, duty, companionship and ambition, each quality personified by a different man" (Variety).

Critics seem generally pleased with Tavernier's efforts. According to Variety, the film has "both beauty and brains, and offers a portrait of renaissance life -- complete with ethics now utterly alien to a contempo mindset -- leagues more accurate than most historical epics." However, the review goes on to say, this accuracy might be the film's fatal flaw, rendering the film too intellectual for the masses outside France.

I hope they try us. I'd love to see this!

Click here for a photo gallery; here for three short clips. The film will be playing in France this summer. Anyone who gets the opportunity to view it, please come back and let us know what you think!


Amy @ Passages to the Past said...

It looks really good, too bad I don't know French :(

Julianne Douglas said...

Sorry, Amy, I forgot to warn readers that the clips are in French! Still worth watching for the costumes and sets, though, even if you don't parlez-vous.

Marissa said...

Oooh - that looks good, Julianne. Here's hoping it makes its way to Netflix at least.

C.W. Gortner said...

Oh, wow! Thank you, Julianne, for pointing this out; I hadn't heard about this film and I love French costume dramas. They do them so well. I'm hoping we actually get a theatrical release on this here!

Julianne Douglas said...

Or even better --maybe we'll need to go to Paris to see it! :)

Catherine Delors said...

1. It is inspired by Madame de Lafayette (author of the Princesse de Cleves)
2. The exterior scenes were shot in Auvergne
1 + 2 = I won't miss it.

Thanks for bringing it up, Julianne!

Julianne Douglas said...

Please do, Catherine, and post a write-up on your blog!