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critics consensus

Its unusual approach may not pay off quite as consistently as one might hope, but the boldly anachronistic Jeannette: The Childhood of Joan of Arc is definitely a biopic like no other. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

Young shepherdess Jeannette, the future Joan of Arc, already carries the weight of the the French nation on her shoulders as she grapples with matters of the soul.

Cast & Crew

Aline Charles
Sainte Marguerite
Elise Charles
Sainte Marguerite
Nicolas Leclaire
Durand Lassois
Régine Delalin
Isabeau d'Arc
Anaïs Rivière
Saint Michel
Bruno Dumont
Screenwriter
Guillaume Deffontaines
Cinematographer
Bruno Dumont
Film Editor
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News & Interviews for Jeannette: The Childhood of Joan of Arc

Critic Reviews for Jeannette: The Childhood of Joan of Arc

All Critics (43) | Top Critics (14) | Fresh (34) | Rotten (9)

  • The results are one of a kind and certainly not for everyone, but if you can get on its wavelength, you'll find much to appreciate.

    April 17, 2020 | Full Review…
  • The biggest problem with "Jeannette," beyond what some may consider the blasphemous elements, is that Dumont limits his story to the less compelling parts of Joan's life - before she took on the British occupiers.

    August 9, 2018 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
  • "Jeannette: The Childhood of Joan of Arc" is very likely the first medieval heavy-metal musical ever to grace the silver screen. Sadly, it's not quite as fun as that sounds.

    May 10, 2018 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
  • A dialogue, and a mutual cross-examination, not only among the main characters ... and above all between man and God, but also between Péguy and Dumont, and even between Péguy the Socialist unbeliever of 1897 and Péguy the believing Catholic of 1910.

    April 13, 2018 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…
  • A challenging arthouse drama that has a slippery sense of humor and a whole lot of chutzpah.

    April 13, 2018 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…
  • "Jeannette" throws the modern back at the medieval, making no distinction between religious ecstasy and that experienced in certain contemporary contexts of music and ritual.

    April 12, 2018 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Jeannette: The Childhood of Joan of Arc

  • Jan 05, 2012
    I didn't know a word about this case before plunging onto this movie. As against my expectations, my ignorance didn't turn out to be in the favor of movie. It assumes that we have the background knowledge and focuses only on trial. Maybe people in general have enough historical knowledge, but unfortunately I'm an exceptional case. I thought that the movie would be interesting as it's based on the transcripts of the case, but except for a few dialogues, it was quiet boring. Even 65 minutes seemed too long to sit through. I appreciate the director's intentions, but not much the film. Needless to say, it serves as an informative piece of work to an extent, but not entertainment.
    familiar s Super Reviewer
  • Mar 16, 2011
    This Robert Bresson film is reportedly taken from the transcripts from the Joan of Arc's trial. And it's a well-done film that suffers from one major flaw -- I saw Karl Dreyer's version of Joan's story PASSION OF JOAN OF ARC first. Florence Carrez portrays Joan with stoic determination. She knows she's right and no one will change her mind. Because of this portrayal, the scene where Joan signs the confession riings a bit false. On the other hand, Renee Maria Falconetti's portrayal is of a terrified 19-year-old girl, being held in prison for her beliefs that seem so right and true to her, and totally unable to comprehend how and why she is being portrayed as evil, when everything she does is for God and her country. Her performance is heartbreaking. Carrez' in-your-face attitude is probably more historically accurate -- Joan WAS a warrior after all -- but I like Falconetti better. And I just like Dreyer better as a director than Bresson. Bresson's direction is spare and minimalist, and it leaves me a bit cold. Dreyer's work never fails to move me, especially in the way he gets such real emotion out of his actors. I'll admit to being brought to tears by more than one of his films. Bresson claims that he made his Joan more of a modern 1960's woman so younger people would identify with her, He gave her a somewhat modern hairstyle and wardrobe. Once again, I prefer Dreyer's Joan, who was even stripped of her hair for the role. One good thing about seeing both films is that I now have a bigger picture of what Joan went through during her trial. Dreyer also used the original transcripts, and the dialogue reflects that, matching word for word in several places. But in many cases they concentrated on different sections of the transcriptions, so seeing Bresson's film filled in the gaps from the Dreyer film.
    Cindy I Super Reviewer
  • Apr 11, 2008
    At just 60 odd minutes the premise of this film doesn't push itself. Yes it is mostly people sitting round and talking but the sublime craft rises it to fantastic heights. A certain amount of emotionless performances make this blunt and to the point. It's a real dissection of Joan herself. Unfortunately this is no Passion of Joan of Arc but it is still a brilliant piece of cinema.
    Luke B Super Reviewer

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