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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.
All Critics (39)
| Top Critics (11)
| Fresh (29)
| Rotten (10)
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.
"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.
A challenging arthouse drama that has a slippery sense of humor and a whole lot of chutzpah.
"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.
Dumont's early work suggested a director who wanted to be the heir to Robert Bresson and the aforementioned Dreyer, titans of formal discipline and transcendent doubt. Now he wants to be Andy Kaufman.
Jeannette succeeds in its earnestness, adapting its words from Charles Peguy's works, but countering it with the pure, joyous silliness of its presentation.
Along with Johnnie To's Office (2015) and Sion Sono's Tokyo Tribe (2014), Dumont has made one of the most unusual, singular, and best musicals in recent years.
Bruno Dumont's Jeannette: The Childhood of Joan of Arc [is] instantly stimulating: The story of France's patron saint who was martyred during the Hundred Years' War is told through the joyful noise of a heavy-metal musical.
Jeannette hits the same off-key for its duration and inspires to do little more than provoke a chuckle.
An ambitious, even overwhelming mash-up of cinematic tactics morphed into one delectable, original bauble.
What Jeanette captures more than any other film I can think of is the strangeness of Christian faith even to its adherents.
Seeing is believing. [Full Review in Spanish]
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