The Affair of the Necklace Reviews

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Super Reviewer
December 5, 2011
Decent movie. Good cast. Apparently based on true-ish events, but much was added for theatrical purposes, I would think. Hilary Swank is good in everything she does, and this movie is no exception. I knew nothing about this time period, but after watching this film I found myself looking for information. Interesting story, indeed.
Super Reviewer
½ October 1, 2007
It looks so stunning that you (or at least I) can take it seriously or not on whim.
Super Reviewer
December 12, 2008
The only reason I wanted to see this movie was because of Adrien Brody, But the parts he was in weren't worth watching the whole film for. I thought the music was bad especially the song at the beginning credits. The screenplay fails at trying to make you feel anything for the main character except that she is a greedy liar. One star for the Adrien Brody scenes.
February 24, 2012
Very immerse into Jeanne de la Motte Valois story. But... what about Marie Antoinette??? What about the extravagances which drove her finally into death? This movie lacks of important details. The affair of the necklace woke the French Revolution.
January 3, 2011
This is a film about the infamous diamond necklace theft that was linked with the fate of Queen Marie Antoinette. The story is all about an unusual retelling of history's most involved and intricate diamond heist, the necklace affair that eventually helped spur the start of the French Revolution. The only fault with the movie is that it makes the hapless Queen out to be somewhat of a villainess. In the opinion of many, it was the Countess who was a bit shady, since it was she who was the deceiving arch-manipulator that coordinated the amazing heist. And, the plot involved some very extravagant characters that must have been difficult to finesse. The film gives a remarkable revolutionary flavor to the eras atmosphere which it suggests very well, though the perspective is somewhat skewed towards the side that disliked eating cake.
½ October 27, 2009
Altough being historically inacurate in many details, The Affair of the Necklace is still a movie very much worth seeing. This movie focuses on a scandal wich incolved the young queen of France, Marie Antoinette. This scandal became known,in English, as The Affair of the Diamond Necklace. When exposed, most of those involved (Comtesse Jeanne de la Motte-Valois, Retaux de Vilette, Count Cagliostro,Cardinal Louis de Rohan) were brought to trial. The trial is known to have been one of the catalysts for the French Revolution. Hilary Swank gives a likeable yet serious performance as Comtesse Valois. While her husband, portrayed by Adrien Brody, brings a few comedic moments to the film. I'd recommend this film if you're particularly fond of period peices but I wouldn't if you're serious about historal accuracy...Nonetheless, it's a good movie.
July 4, 2009
Loved the story - historical fiction about a scandal involving Marie Antoinette (which is true), GREAT cast - Christopher Walken, Adrien Brody, Jonathan Pryce.
January 13, 2008
I'm not sure why this film gets bad reviews. I found it to be an intriguing, lavish, and well-acted historical drama.
January 13, 2008
Wondeful true story of a woman who just wanted her family name restored. Also about the corruption in the French Monarchy
½ September 13, 2007
It was a mistake to cast Hilary Swank as the lead. She gave no excitement to the lead leaving the rest of the amazing cast with no energy to feed off of. Beautiful costumes but for how exciting the plot line should be, you don't feel it. Christopher Walken was the BEST part.
½ February 27, 2007
Great little movie. Hilary is not one of my favorite actors, but she did a good job here. My favorite scene is where Adrien Brody's charater is shot in the butt. He is so funny in that whole scene where the Dr. is taking out the bullet.
January 15, 2007
excellent story involving the tragedy of Marie Antoinette. Hilary Swank gives a flat out amazing performance.
June 13, 2012
The direction and script on this were so bad I went in search of who was responsible, now I know. No rhythm or cadence in dialogue delivery,(you cant try to make historical drama using contemporary speech delivery, it just doesn't gel) Shyer got very lazy...rubbish sound for a bs script and poor camera work, Hil shouldn't have done this one...what a waste of some good players and great locations. Coulda been so good...
April 15, 2012
A bloated, really rather dull historical epic which seems miscast throughout. A really shame, as the story had the potential to be very good indeed.
December 25, 2010
One of the worst movies I've ever seen. I give it one star only because it's worth hearing Christopher Walken speak in a German accent...think of it as one long SNL skit.
February 13, 2010
What I kept on wondering during the entire movie was why had they chosen Swank for the role. Couldn't help thinking of Boys don't Cry.
May 7, 2009
It's funny, sometimes, what can bring down a kingdom. I don't think most people put any attention into what caused the French Revolution. I don't think most of them know much of anything beyond the guillotine, and most of them just repeat the ridiculous claim that M. Guillontin died at its workings. They'll also tell you that Marie Antoinette (here Joely Richardson) said "Let them eat cake" despite the remarkable lack of any reason to think it's true and much to think it isn't. (Not least being that the first recorded instance of the phrase was from when she was something like four years old.) The great sweep of French excesses is as nothing to them. Some may have read [i]A Tale of Two Cities[/i] in school, but Dickens chooses to personalize the ridiculous nature of the French court instead of giving a broader scope. It works in the context of the book, and most of his readers probably knew already, but I don't think most people know or care these days. And yet it's true that, in some ways, a con game led "Widow Capet" to her death.

Jeanne St. Remy de Valois (Hilary Swank) was, as a child (Hayden Panttiere), stripped of everything that was hers. Her father was Darnelle de Valois (James Larkin), descendant of a great house. The Valois blood ruled France for some 250 years and ran in the blood of English kings as well. And then (per the story, if not reality), the Bourbon family had her father destroyed because he championed the common people. Jeanne marries a noble, the Comte Nicolas De La Motte (Adrien Brody) to gain entry to court so that she may appeal to the Queen to get back her family name and home. A gigolo, Rétaux de Vilette (Simon Baker), convinces her to develop Cardinal Louis de Rohan (Jonathan Pryce), who is by blood a prince, as a patron. To do this, she and Vilette forge letters to convince the Cardinal that Jeanne is close in the Queen's confidence and that the Queen wishes to mend the strained relationship she has with the Cardinal. And, in the end, Jeanne convinces him that the way back into the Queen's good graces--and into her heart and even bed--is to stand surety for the purchase of an enormous, and frankly [i]hugely[/i] unattractive, necklace that the Queen supposedly desires.

It was an interesting stylistic choice for most of the costumes (nominated for an Oscar) to be so pale except for Jeanne, in her red; the Cardinal, in [i]his[/i] red--and one feels they'd have changed that were it not for ecclesiastical reasons!--and Count Cagliostro (Christopher Walken), in his black. The costume desinger asserts in the special features that she wants them all to look like ghosts. Indeed, most of the people in those elabourate scenes would become ghosts in just a very few years. We are only a decade or so away from the Reign of Terror. On the other hand, several of the most notable aspects of the era's costumes are left out--there is one shot where Marie Antoinette is wearing a birdcage, complete with real bird, in her wig, but the insane competition of skirts and wigs was not an aspect of costuming here. Indeed, a lot of the women aren't even wearing wigs. In short, beautiful but wrong.

In fact, that seems to be a pretty good summary of the whole thing. Leaving aside the fact that, bluntly, Hilary Swank is very bad at playing a French comtesse, her dialogue is still rather stiffly written. And, of course, Jeanne was not the last scion of a glorious French family. For one thing, I find it to say the least mildly unlikely that there were no other branches of the Valois family to carry on the name. She also had a sister and a brother, though, to be fair, none of the three had children. She was not exactly averse to, um, religious lessons with the Cardinal. And she did not do the whole thing with the ultimate goal of regaining her glorious family heritage. She was in it for the cash--though, as the impoverished daughter of a noble family, and with her family's Valois genealogy established, she received a pension. It just wasn't enough to keep her in the style to which she felt entitled.

And, of course, the whole thing helped bring the French monarchy down. While Marie Antoinette was almost certainly innocent of the affair--there is absolutely no historical evidence to suggest otherwise--the public did not quite see it that way. The French public was horribly oppressed. The French aristocracy lived in heedless luxury, spending more on clothes and such than on improvements to the country--though it is speculated that one of the reasons Marie Antoinette did not want the necklace was because she thought the money could better be spent outfitting a man-of-war. It's not that they were completely thoughtless, necessarily. It's that the whole of the court was so divorced from the reality at the time that the King and Queen could not see that taking the Cardinal's titles away despite his acquittal might not go over terribly well with the common people. However, the Queen did, even at the last, have diginity. Her final act was to accidentally step on the executioner's foot; her final words were to apologize for it.
½ February 13, 2009
This was a well produced, beautiful, intriguing, well cast, timeless, and well told story inspired by true events, certainly enough to engage one in a further, healthy study of the french revolution.

It is funny, if not ironic, that the "aristocracy" of this website, the "t meter critics" and "cream of the crop" have voted the movie down as it certainly critiques the vanity of an establishment of their ilk.
½ July 24, 2007
:rotten: This movie needed more affair and less necklace. Hilary Swank was fairly good, a bit wooden. Adrien Brody was amusing and is always fun to watch. Jonathan Pryce was particularly disgusting. Brian Cox was officious and Christopher Walken was Christopher Walken. Not enough of Joely Richardson (whose role in Sister My Sister has yet to be equalled). And Simon Baker is always amusing to watch. But gee whiz, can we move a little slower? Please? And can the plot be just a tad more convoluted so that we can really not give a rip about any of the characters? That would work well in "Affair of the Necklace 2". Verbum sapientibus ad Charles Shyer.
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