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This is an underappreciated film. Its a difficult subject that makes people uncomfortable, but the film is well researched - Thandie Newton is wonderful as Sally Hemiings and its not an accident that you can actually feel Nolte's Jefferson relax when he is with her - thats part of the point of the story. Contradictions everywhere.
good historical drama
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.
Jefferson in Paris is a decent film. It is about Thomas Jefferson serving as the French ambassador prior to the French Revolution. Nick Nolte and Gwyneth Paltrow give good performances. The script is a little slow in places. James Ivory did an alright job directing this movie. I liked this motion picture because of the drama and romance.
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.
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.
What a fascinating story that covered these overlapping stories of independence. It also had a good cast. It was something I was glad to know more about, despite the parts that seemed contrived, i.e. Martha's dilemmas. Additionally, many themes were too complicated to be covered in this relatively short film, regardless I still enjoyed learning about the various relationships in Jefferson's life and how he managed to balance them or let them fall. The production was rather simple at times, but they managed to do well on a limited budget to portray the pomp and circumstance of the French Court at the time of the revolution and all the freedoms involved. They managed to attack Jefferson's contridictions in his hacing fought for freedoms, yet still he had not giving them to all, i.e. his daughter and his slaves.
This was not what I expected at all, it fell flat in way of explanation. There was so much left untold yet the plot dragged on and on. I kept waiting for something, anything to happen but nothing ever did. I was very disappointed because it seemed to have such potential.
NICK NOLTE PLAYS THOMAS JEFFERSON DURING HIS YEARS IN PARIS CAUGHT BETWEEN HIS LOVE FOR A BEAUTIFUL MARRIED WOMAN(GRETA SCACCHI) AND HIS DEVOTION TO HIS DAUGHTERS AND MONTICELLO.
American point of view -