Farewell, My Queen (2012)
Average Rating: 7.3/10
Reviews Counted: 76
Fresh: 70 | Rotten: 6
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 7/10
Critic Reviews: 28
Fresh: 25 | Rotten: 3
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 3.3/5
User Ratings: 9,768
Farewell, My Queen marks the return of acclaimed director Benoît Jacquot and brilliantly captures the passions, debauchery, occasional glimpses of nobility and ultimately the chaos that engulfed the court of Marie Antoinette in the final days before the full-scale outbreak of the Revolution. Based on the best-selling novel by Chantal Thomas, the film stars Léa Seydoux as one of Marie's ladies-in-waiting, seemingly an innocent but quietly working her way into her mistress's special favors, until
Jul 13, 2012 Limited
Jan 15, 2013
Cohen Media Group - Official Site
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Jacquot has chosen wisely in casting Léa Seydoux in the key role of Sidonie, whose luminous but watchful eyes suggest a soul wise beyond her years.
"Farewell, My Queen" is a layer cake of royal pleasures, rote protocols and revolutionary politics. For skeptics who thought this story had grown stale, let them eat their words.
The details of the plot are unimportant: that is the main point made by the skillful director, Benoît Jacquot. It is the slowness with which they realize what is happening that fascinates.
Although it was shot at Versailles, and its actors are dressed to the 18th-century nines, Farewell, My Queen has a loose, reportorial intimacy about it.
As we follow her through the monarchy's abrupt collapse, "Farewell, My Queen" gives us intimate, unflaggingly energetic history as seen from the servants' quarters.
The foreboding and chaos contrast neatly with the lavish costumes and sets.
Farewell, My Queen is a knife-edge drama that steadily builds tension that at times becomes as unbearably tense as the relationship between the three leading ladies.
Sidonie is a character who literally eavesdrops on history, becoming the audience's first-person yet second-hand source for such significant events as the storming of the Bastille...
His portrait loses some of its eerie power through the ugly twist at the film's conclusion, but she remains a fascinating enigma, and touchingly human.
Like the Americans, the French are infatuated with their history. They also love long close-ups of beautiful women in period costume. These elements combine in this painfully pretty period chamber piece.
It is the life of Versailles that Jacquot captures: all the petty politics, positioning and preening. And that is simply a glorious sight to see.
While it does not hang together as a whole, Farewell, My Queen is still an interesting and engaging film that should be overall commended for what it does achieve.
It's kind of the Rosencrantz and Gulidenstern Are Dead approach to history, observing it from the perspective of a "minor character", and it works ... it's a fascinating glimpse of a moment in history from, essentially, a safe bystander.
A strangely mixed film, sliding from intimate scenes of royal indolence to muted panic in candlelit corridors, a distinct undercurrent of detached uncertainty always present in both story and style.
A mood of melancholy and the film is beautifully lit and shot. But there's something missing in the telling and its often disjointed structure mitigates against the emotional satisfaction we are seeking
Visually sumptuous, this French Spanish co-production about the last days of Marie Antoinette is a far cry from Sofia Coppola's 2006 lollypop version
It should be retitled; 'Sidonie, Marie Antoinette's just not that into you.'
The complex triangle at the dark heart of his film, set against the surging social change of a nation, makes for both a superb historical epic and a compelling human drama.
The film shows both sides of the social spectrum within the court akin to "Upstairs, Downstairs" and "Downton Abbey," but with bloodthirsty rabble at the door.
Jacquot masterfully gets across the politics, jealousies and jockeying of court life...and Romain Winding has achieved the beautiful look of natural lighting in lush interiors and shadowy corridors with the director's first foray into digital filmmaking.
By the time Seydoux realizes what's in store for her and her queen, we're almost as surprised as she is.
History doesn't let us feel much sympathy for Marie Antoinette. But "Farewell, My Queen" almost has us rooting for her and those who love her by its finale.
It was a very pleasant surprise to find that this was far from your average Marie Antoinette biopic.
Audience Reviews for Farewell, My Queen
- Monsieur de la Tour du Pin: The people want not only bread, but power. Who wants power? I've always considered power a curse one inherits unwillingly.
- Marie Antoinette: Let them eat cake.
- Marie Antoinette: Have you ever been attracted to a woman?
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