The Affair of the Necklace


The Affair of the Necklace

Critics Consensus

A film about court intrigue, The Affair of the Necklace turns out to be more dull than juicy. Swank seems flat and miscast in the central role of Jeanne.



Total Count: 62


Audience Score

User Ratings: 3,795
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Movie Info

A director of contemporary comedies, Charles Shyer makes a genre leap into period costume drama with this lavish epic based on a controversial chapter of French history. Hilary Swank stars as Jeanne de la Motte Valois, a countess whose royal title has been stripped from her family by the crown in late 18th century. Determined to restore her good name and privilege, Jeanne schemes politically and sexually with a trio of co-conspirators that includes her gigolo lover, Retaux de Villette (Simon Baker), her husband, Nicolas (Adrien Brody), and a mysterious Italian count (Christopher Walken) to obtain a diamond necklace worth millions. Jeanne's cabal concocts a series of forged letters linking Marie Antoinette (Joely Richardson) and the stunning 2,800-carat jewelry to the debauched Cardinal Louis de Rohan (Jonathan Pryce), an act that could end up restoring rank to the Valois family or fanning the flames of growing revolutionary sentiments. The Affair of the Necklace (2001) co-stars Brian Cox as the narrator Minister Breteuil.


Hilary Swank
as Comtesse Jeanne de la Motte-Valois
Jonathan Pryce
as Cardinal de Rohan
Simon Baker
as Retaux de Villette
Adrien Brody
as Count Nicolas de la Motte
Brian Cox
as Baron de Breteuil
Joely Richardson
as Marie Antoinette
Christopher Walken
as Count Cagliostro
Paul Brooke
as Monsieur Bohmer
Peter Eyre
as Monsieur Bassenge
Simon Kunz
as Minister of Titles
Hayden Panettiere
as Young Jeanne de la Motte Valois
Frank McCusker
as Abel Duphot
Simon Shackleton
as King Louis XVI
Hermione Gulliford
as Nicole Leguay d'Oliva
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Critic Reviews for The Affair of the Necklace

All Critics (62) | Top Critics (23) | Fresh (9) | Rotten (53)

Audience Reviews for The Affair of the Necklace

  • Dec 05, 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.
    Cynthia S Super Reviewer
  • Mar 08, 2009
    Great Movie. Hilary Swank performance was Remarkable.
    NaWie M Super Reviewer
  • Dec 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.
    Marion R Super Reviewer
  • Oct 01, 2007
    It looks so stunning that you (or at least I) can take it seriously or not on whim.
    Kylie B Super Reviewer

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