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Les enfants du siècle (The Children of the Century) (1999)

tomatometer

43

Average Rating: 5.2/10
Reviews Counted: 42
Fresh: 18 | Rotten: 24

This romance is more soapy than historically compelling.

43

Average Rating: 5.4/10
Critic Reviews: 14
Fresh: 6 | Rotten: 8

This romance is more soapy than historically compelling.

audience

70

liked it
Average Rating: 3.5/5
User Ratings: 1,046

My Rating

Movie Info

While pioneering pre-feminist author George Sand has been the subject of several film biographies focusing on her ten year relationship with Frederick Chopin, Les enfants du siècle looks at an earlier period in Sand's life, in particular her stormy romance with poet Alfred de Musset. In the early 1830's, Baroness Dudevant (Juliette Binoche) has abandoned her husband and arrives in Paris with her children in tow as rioting divides the city. The Baroness decides to reinvent herself and pursue a

Jan 20, 2004

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All Critics (48) | Top Critics (17) | Fresh (18) | Rotten (24) | DVD (3)

In between all the emotional seesawing, it's hard to figure the depth of these two literary figures, and even the times in which they lived. But they fascinate in their recklessness.

March 28, 2003 Full Review Source: Miami Herald
Miami Herald
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The emotion is impressively true for being so hot-blooded, and both leads are up to the task.

February 13, 2003 Full Review Source: Dallas Morning News
Dallas Morning News
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The film's appeal has a lot to do with the casting of Juliette Binoche as Sand, who brings to the role her pale, dark beauty and characteristic warmth.

December 13, 2002 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Plays like a volatile and overlong W magazine fashion spread.

November 22, 2002 Full Review Source: Boston Globe
Boston Globe
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's technically sumptuous but also almost wildly alive.

November 21, 2002 Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Kurys never shows why, of all the period's volatile romantic lives, Sand and Musset are worth particular attention.

October 8, 2002
The New Republic
Top Critic IconTop Critic

For all its transparent outrageousness, filmmaker Kurys' tribute to those free spirits is an entertainment for squares.

May 5, 2010 Full Review Source: East Bay Express
East Bay Express

It's beautiful, typically French, and a bore.

December 15, 2003 Full Review Source: Daily Mail [UK]
Daily Mail [UK]

Is this love or is it masochism? Binoche makes it interesting trying to find out.

March 27, 2003 Full Review Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel
South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Benefits not only from Filac's cinematography but also from the two leads, whose chemistry is immediately apparent.

February 14, 2003 Full Review Source: Dallas Observer
Dallas Observer

A bit of a downer and a little over-dramatic at times, but this is a beautiful film for people who like their romances to have that French realism.

February 14, 2003 Full Review Source: TheMovieChicks.com

While the production details are lavish, film has little insight into the historical period and its artists, particularly in how Sand developed a notorious reputation.

December 23, 2002 Full Review Source: Boxoffice Magazine
Boxoffice Magazine

Binoche and Magimel are perfect in these roles.

December 16, 2002 Full Review Source: San Diego Metropolitan
San Diego Metropolitan

Aggravating and tedious.

December 13, 2002 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

The art direction and costumes are gorgeous and finely detailed, and Kurys' direction is clever and insightful.

December 8, 2002 Full Review Source: Film Threat
Film Threat

Befuddled in its characterizations as it begins to seem as long as the two year affair which is its subject

November 25, 2002 Full Review Source: culturevulture.net
culturevulture.net

...the tale of her passionate, tumultuous affair with Musset unfolds as Sand's masculine persona, with its love of life and beauty, takes form.

November 14, 2002 Full Review Source: Reeling Reviews
Reeling Reviews

one of the best films that showcase a romance within the context of an artistic movement

November 10, 2002 Full Review Source: Reeling Reviews
Reeling Reviews

It's not thirsty, consuming passion which drives this movie. No, it's the repetition of said behavior, and so Children of the Century is more mindless love than mad, more grating and boring than anything else.

October 8, 2002 Full Review Source: Entertainment Today
Entertainment Today

The story drifts so inexorably into cliches about tortured (and torturing) artists and consuming but impossible love that you can't help but become more disappointed as each overwrought new sequence plods on.

October 4, 2002 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Daily News
Los Angeles Daily News

Audience Reviews for Les enfants du siècle (The Children of the Century)

Visually, this is beautiful. Binoche gives a strong performance as Sand, Magimel is solid as an impetuous, and depraved, de Musset. Costumes, and backdrops, are spectacular. The acting top notch. So why wouldn't I love it? I suppose it's the-- I love him, I hate him, I love him, I hate him, I love him, I hate him, I love him....2.5 hours later, the end. This pretty much sums up this movie for me.
May 16, 2011
itsjustme2004

Super Reviewer

A desperately tragic overly romanticised film. It's a wonderful piece of costume drama that relishes in the recreation of the 19th century. The dialogue is at the front of a well plotted screenplay, which excellent sparring words between Binoche and Magimel. It really does successfully show a couple who are not right for each other but can't control their absolute pure love for one another. Magimel's defiance of his family is to be expected in such a film, but his genuinely moving connection with Bincohe's children is a wonderful sight. It's hard to discern between Magimel's sometimes madness and his selfishness. Like watching a car crash in slow motion the outcome is inevitable, and Bincohe's sudden relationship with the Italian doctor isn't developed enough to make it belieavble. As this is such an important part it affects the rest of the film in a negative way. Impressive though long winded.
September 10, 2008
kiriyamakazou

Super Reviewer

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Foreign Titles

  • The Children of the Century (Les Enfants Du Siecle) (DE)
  • The Children of the Century (Les Enfants Du Siecle) (UK)
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