Jefferson in Paris (1995) - Rotten Tomatoes

Jefferson in Paris (1995)

Jefferson in Paris (1995)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Jefferson in Paris Photos

Movie Info

This historical drama takes place during future American president Thomas Jefferson's term as an ambassador in Paris, in the years preceding the French Revolution. Much attention is paid to Jefferson's private life, particularly his affair with young slave Sally Hemmings (a detail felt by many critics to be historically inaccurate).
Drama , Romance
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Franco London Films

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Nick Nolte
as Thomas Jefferson
Greta Scacchi
as Maria Cosway
Gwyneth Paltrow
as Patsy Jefferson
Simon Callow
as Richard Cosway
Thandie Newton
as Sally Hemings
Michel Lonsdale
as Louis XVI
Seth Gilliam
as James Hemings
James Earl Jones
as Madison Hemings
Michael Lonsdale
as Louis XVI
Jean-Pierre Aumont
as D'Hancarville
Estelle Eonnet
as Polly Jefferson
Todd Boyce
as William Short
Nigel Whitmey
as John Trumbull
Nicolas Silberg
as Monsieur Petit
Nicholas Silberg
as Monsieur Petit
Lionel Robert
as Cook's Helper
Humbert Balsan
as Mutilated Officer
Jean Rupert
as Surgeon
Yvette Petit
as Dressmaker
Paolo Mantini
as Hairdresser
F. Van Den Driessche
as Mutilated Officer
Humbert Balson
as Mutilated Officer
Michel Rois
as Mutilated Officer
Bob Sessions
as James Byrd
Marc Tissot
as Construction Foreman
Lambert Wilson
as Marquis de Lafayette
Elsa Zylberstein
as Adrienne de Lafayette
Christopher Thompson
as Interpreter
Jean-François Perrier
as Liberal Aristocrat
Vernon Dobtcheff
as King's Translator
Eric Génovèse
as Liberal Aristocrat
Catherine Chevalier
as Lady in Court
Bruno Putzulu
as Liberal Aristocrat
Laure Killing
as Lady in Court
Philippe Mareuil
as Liberal Aristocrat
Philippe Bouclet
as Liberal Aristocrat
Olivier Galfione
as Chevalier de Saint-Colombe
Anthony Valentine
as British Ambassador
Philippine Leroy-Beaulieu
as Head and Heart Game
Steve Kalfa
as Dr. Guillotin
Martine Sarcey
as Head and Heart Game
André Julien
as Savant
Elizabeth Kaza
as Card Player
Agathe De La Boulaye
as Card Player
Abdel Bouthegmes
as Lafayette's Indian
Charlotte de Turckheim
as Marie Antoinette
Damien Groelle
as The Dauphin
Valerie Toledano
as Madame Elizabeth
Vernon Dobtchev
as King's Translator
Felix Malinbaum
as Captain of the Guard
Herve Hiolle
as King's Messenger
Philippe Girard
as Post Office Spy
Eric Berg
as Post Office Spy
Nancy Marchand
as The Abbess
Yan Duffas
as Assistant
Magali Leiris
as Assistant
Valentine Varella
as Assistant
Gabrielle Islwyn
as Singer with Megaphone
William Christie
as Conductor
Ismail Merchant
as Tipoo Sultan's Ambassador
Martine Chevallier
as Mademoiselle Contat
Valerie Lang
as Demented Woman
Vincent Cassel
as Camille Desmoulins
Beatrice Winde
as Mary Hemings
Tim Choate
as Reporter
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Critic Reviews for Jefferson in Paris

All Critics (15) | Top Critics (4)

Aka the affairs of Jefferson. Handsome production.

October 16, 2004
Kansas City Kansan

Good idea, but Nolte is not believable as Jefferson.

December 19, 2002
Journal and Courier (Lafayette, IN)

Contains ample pleasures for those who appreciate subtlety and sophistication in their movie fare.

Full Review… | August 30, 2002
Spirituality and Practice

Audience Reviews for Jefferson in Paris


A bunch of supposition unsupported by the known facts but a handsome production, if a bit overlong. Jefferson's daughter Martha Jefferson Randolph, by all reports a vivacious charming girl, is done an injustice by way of the sulky, petulant flat performance Paltrow gives of her.

jay nixon
jay nixon

Super Reviewer


Comes off as weak sauce and with almost no direction. The film seems to wander aimlessly through Jefferson's years in Paris without much point. There he is talking to his daughter who hates slaves and wants to join a Parisian convent. There he is flirting with a married Italian woman. There he is flirting, maybe?, with his young slave. There he is talking to French people. Not only does the film not have a clear story in mind, it also seems to forget that not everyone speaks French. There are a number of conversations all in French with no subtitles. Just people speaking French for whole scenes. I can see where Nick Nolte may have kind've had the look, but he was pretty bland as Jefferson. Thandie Newton was fun to watch; vibrant and interesting. Gwyneth Paltrow was also interesting as a spoiled, confused teenager.

Peter Ambrose
Peter Ambrose

While not a particularly powerful film, this remains an interesting look at the time spent by our third president in France and his romances there. Oddly enough, Jefferson (as played by Nick Nolte) becomes one of the least interesting characters in the film as everything just seems to be happening around him rather than as a result of his actions. This is both a result of Nolte's less-than-firey performance and a script that tries to both play it safe by never showing Jefferson and Sally Hemmings romantically together but insisting that it happened regardless. Nonetheless, I was caught up in the historical drama of it all with its handsome production values and a great supporting cast. I've never wanted to slap Gwyneth Paltrow more than in a few scenes here and let's be honest - that's really saying something.

Matt DeGroot
Matt DeGroot

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