Joueuse (Queen to Play) (2011)
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Critic Reviews for Joueuse (Queen to Play)
Subplots involving the heroine's resentful husband and rebellious teenage daughter never amount to much, though the story builds toward a satisfactory, if formulaic, climax.
"Queen to Play" falls somewhat into the "Pygmalion" template, but watching Bonnaire's Helene find herself makes it worthy in its own right.
Audience Reviews for Joueuse (Queen to Play)
A nice, quiet afternoon movie. No thrills. No excitement. A little slow, but interesting at the same time...something French films are famous for.
A wonderful story of a woman who finds herself capable of more than she ever imagined. Sandrine Bonnaire as Helene, a hotel chambermaid, and Kevin Kline as Doctor Kroger, her mentor, are marvelous. Her obsession with the game of chess forms the background for this story, but it is the interaction between these two characters that drives the narrative. Each seems to draw out the best in the other. Dr Kroger has shunned most human contact since the death of his wife, and Helene seems to be just going through the motions of her life. As the two find a common interest in the game of chess, they each find they have more to offer than either of them believed. Filmed in Corsica, the scenery is beautiful, the dialog is interesting, and a thorough knowledge of chess is not necessary to be able to appreciate the interplay between the two main characters. This viewer was enraptured.
An attempt to answer why the queen is more powerful than the king in the game of chess, Queen To Play intelligently explores the nature of midlife crises that often lead to transformed passions and self-discovery. Inspiring.
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