The Lady and the Duke (2001)



Critic Consensus: Visually stunning, The Lady and the Duke uses current technology to elegantly bring the past to life.

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Movie Info

Having finished his acclaimed cinematic quartet "Contes des quatre saisons," legendary filmmaker Eric Rohmer takes DV camera in hand to recreate this idiosyncratic period piece adapted from the Grace Elliot memoirs. Concerned with faithfully evoking 18th century France, Rohmer uses two strategies -- using only eyewitness accounts of the times and avoiding all external settings, arguing that Paris now is a completely different city than it was during revolutionary times. The story revolves around Grace Elliot (Lucy Russell), a Scottish aristocrat stranded in Paris during the French Revolution. She is once again thrown together with Philippe Egalite, the cousin to the king, the Duke of Orleans, and Grace's former lover. Their friendship remains complicated and uncertain, and is made all the more complex by the rush of events around them. This film was screened at the 2001 Toronto Film Festival.
PG-13 (for some violent images)
Art House & International , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
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Alain Libolt
as Duc de Biron
Charlotte Véry
as Pulcherie
Léonard Cobiant
as Champcenetz
Helena Dubeil
as Madame Meyler
as Fanchette
Helena Dubiel
as Madame Meyler
Laurent Le Doyen
as Section Miromesnil Officer
Georges Benoît
as Section Miromesnil President
Serge Wolfsperger
as Section Miromesnil Aide
Daniel Tarrare
as Justin the Doorman
Marie Rivière
as Madame Laurent
Serge Renko
as Vergniaud
Eric Viellard
as Osselin
Henry Ambert
as Meudon City Hall Clerk
Charles Borg
as Vaugirard Gate Officer 1
Claude Koener
as Vaugirard Gate Officer 2
Jean-Paul Rouvray
as Vaugirard Officer 3
Axel Colombel
as Carmes Convent Passerby 1
Gerard Martin
as Carmes Convent Passerby 2
Gerard Baume
as Boulevard Saint-Martin Man
Michel Dupuy
as Rue de Lancry Doorman
Joel Templeur
as Versailles Patrol Officer
Bruno Flender
as Guards - Soldier 1
Thierry Bois
as Guards - Soldier 2
William Darlin
as Guards - Drunk
Anne-Marie Jabraud
as Madame de Gramont
Isabelle Auroy
as Madame du Chatelet
Jean-Louis Valero
as Street Singer
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Critic Reviews for The Lady and the Duke

All Critics (70) | Top Critics (27)

Leave it to Rohmer, now 82, to find a way to bend current technique to the service of a vision of the past that is faithful to both architectural glories and commanding open spaces of the city as it was more than two centuries ago.

September 27, 2002
Detroit News
Top Critic

Seldom has the elegant past of 18th century royal life married modern filmmaking with the grace and sophistication of Eric Rohmer's L'anglaise et le duc.

Full Review… | August 2, 2002
Miami Herald
Top Critic

Nothing short of a technical marvel and a ravishing movie to look at.

Full Review… | July 26, 2002
Toronto Star
Top Critic

Working from Elliott's memoir, Rohmer fashions the sort of delicate, articulate character- and- relationship study he's favored for decades.

Full Review… | July 26, 2002
L.A. Weekly
Top Critic

Whenever the subtleties of political morality get a bit overbearing, there's a respite in the painterly streets of Paris, where, we are reminded, the past was another city, strange and resistant to present-day adornments.

July 26, 2002
Globe and Mail
Top Critic

I loved the look of this film.

July 20, 2002
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for The Lady and the Duke

Period piece misses the mark. The film makers probably realized it was a disaster but knew someone would always be interested in period they took their chances. Not worth the effort to find.

John Ballantine
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer


After having exclusively viewed contemporary cinema over the past 3 weeks and all the inherently "unsure" cinema that such an exercise involves, watching the total and complete confidence of old man Rohmer was like mana from heaven. Rohmer finally lends his conservatism to didactic political prominence with this vicious attack on the horrors of the French Revolution. It owes everything to Rossellini's historical films, and, sadly, Rohmer is probably the only director today still looking directly to Rossellini's historical films for inspiration.

GringoTex Johnson
GringoTex Johnson

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