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Rois et Reine (Kings and Queen) (2005)



Average Rating: 8/10
Critic Reviews: 23
Fresh: 23 | Rotten: 0

A dryly comic, stylistically brave film.



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Average Rating: 3.8/5
User Ratings: 2,791

My Rating

Movie Info

The stories of two desperate characters turn out to share an important link in this drama from French filmmaker Arnaud Desplechin. Nora (Emmanuelle Devos) is a woman in her mid-thirties who wants people to believe that her life is going just the way she wants. But a look below the surface shows this isn't quite the case; she's been divorced twice, her latest relationship is on the rocks, her ten-year-old son, Elias (Valentin Lelong), is becoming increasingly withdrawn, and her father (Maurice

Nov 15, 2005


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All Critics (61) | Top Critics (26) | Fresh (49) | Rotten (7) | DVD (6)

Desplechin's big, bold, iconoclastic feature Rois et Reine is a disconcerting film that can turn your head at the oddest moments.

June 30, 2006 Full Review Source: Globe and Mail
Globe and Mail
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Funny, absurd, often mocking itself and always quoting cultural history.

June 30, 2006 Full Review Source: Toronto Star
Toronto Star
Top Critic IconTop Critic

While these characters' lives are melodramatic, individual scenes burst with kinetic energy from fast editing and an script that deftly underscores the destructive nature of male-female relationships.

October 29, 2005 Full Review Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Top Critic IconTop Critic

There's a looseness to the camera work and storytelling that's appealingly breezy: This film feels, for better or worse, like real life.

August 26, 2005 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Kings and Queen, full of passion and humor, madness and grief, is close to a masterpiece.

August 18, 2005
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Kings and Queen is at times compelling, at times devastating, and at times long-winded.

August 18, 2005 Full Review Source: ReelViews
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A highly unstable compound of melodrama and offbeat comedy that elicits more shrugs of confusion than sighs of satisfaction

August 17, 2010 Full Review Source: Cinema Writer
Cinema Writer

a complex, character-driven film that never allows its themes - madness, love, coming of age - to become reducible to pat formulae, or over-sentimentalisation.

July 10, 2007 Full Review Source: Eye for Film
Eye for Film

Its novelistic breadth, pitched intensity and on-the-fly shooting style pull the viewer smack-dab into the middle of these lives.

March 1, 2007 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

I can't quite get my head around it; Ismael is too cartoony and Nora is too icy.

March 10, 2006 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

[M]ixes with aplomb equal measures of intellectual screwball comedy and dark metaphysical tragedy, though part of the joke may be that one often can't tell which is which...

January 3, 2006 Full Review Source: Flick Filosopher
Flick Filosopher

the film proves, at the very least, that Desplechin is a director that garners due attention

December 2, 2005 Full Review Source:

This is a first-rate melo-dramedy under the influence of director Arnaud Desplechin.

December 2, 2005
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Great filmmaking and, as does not always follow, a great film.

October 4, 2005 Full Review Source: Film Freak Central
Film Freak Central

It is well-acted and written with a rigorous effort to skirt cliche, and it has the savor of real life throughout.

September 16, 2005 Full Review Source: Oregonian

Heroic and absurdist...

September 2, 2005
Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)

His scenes ripple with undercurrents of awkward emotions... creating a film both devastating and uplifting, but he passes no judgments.

August 25, 2005 Full Review Source: Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Both leisurely and breathtakingly immediate.

July 5, 2005 Full Review Source: Lessons of Darkness
Lessons of Darkness

Audience Reviews for Rois et Reine (Kings and Queen)

[font=Century Gothic]"Kings and Queen" starts out with Nora(Emmanuelle Devos) introducing herself directly to the camera. She is 35, runs an art gallery and has a ten year old son, Elias, by her first husband. The first husband died while she was pregnant. Her second husband, Ismael(Mathieu Amalric), wants to be dead, too, at least judging by the noose hanging over the chair in his apartment when the men in white coats come for him.(And I would like to say I was disappointed that they weren't carrying butterfly nets...Luckily for him, his psychiatriast is played by Catherine Deneuve.) Nora is about to marry husband number three in a couple of weeks. The latest model is unlike the first two - totally rich, responsible and quite boring. On a visit to Grenoble to visit her father and son, Nora learns that her father is dying and has very little time left. [/font]
[font=Century Gothic][/font]
[font=Century Gothic]"Kings and Queen" is an intelligent, thoughtful movie about growing older, learning responsbility towards taking care of others and what family means. It also makes a point about how we all have an affect on everybody around us, even if we don't realize it. The performances by both Devos and Amalric are superb. [/font]
June 19, 2005
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

Pretty interesting return to the screen for Catherine Deneuve in an ensemble piece directed by Arnaud Desplechin. Not familiar with Desplechin's work in the past but this is a good introduction.
April 11, 2010
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer

One of the many joys and sadnesses of this necessarily long film are the way in which characters motivations and true feelings are gradually revealed as the film progresses, so that what starts out as a relatively straightforward drama becomes more complex, emotive and absorbing. Two skilled lead performances and two very different, flawed characters (but who basically both want escape) are at the centre of this compelling, funny, moving and truthful piece of cinema.
March 5, 2013

Super Reviewer

An interesting film to be sure, and definitely worth a watch. Mathieu Amalric delivers a winning performance that shines above all else. This french melodrama again shines the dark and hidden side of a slice of life; what appears normal isnt and what appears happy and full may be in fact empty and sad. No real winners or losers at film's end except the viewer who will appreciate this rather rich story that has alot of depth and truth.
March 27, 2010
alan jay

Super Reviewer

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Foreign Titles

  • Kings and Queen (Rois et reine) (DE)
  • Kings & Queen - Rois Et Reine (UK)
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