The Death of Louis XIV (La mort de Louis XIV) Reviews

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July 17, 2020
The irony of the king's death is heightened by its straightforward presentation and procedural approach. The Death of Louis XIV is a very singular formalist filmmaking in its highest order.
March 1, 2019
Serra's representation of a king as prisoner within his own body neatly subverts the tropes of historical dramas about royalty.
October 25, 2018
Set almost exclusively in Louis' bedchamber, the film is both boring and riveting, grand and minimal.
October 17, 2018
The Death of Louis XIV shows [Léaud] as a consummate actor in a film composed like a painting that says so much about mortality in so few words. It's unmissable.
October 5, 2018
Albert Serra imagines the event as though it were a slowly deflating balloon in a burnished Baroque painting, agonizing on all levels but also extraordinarily textured.
August 22, 2018
Its fly-on-the-wall depiction of power jostling and slowly escalating desperation in the face of the inevitable eschews heavy-handed symbolism at every turn. In semiotics terms, the film is pure signifier, and therein lies the source of its strength.
August 8, 2018
In the final scenes,... the painterly mise-en-scene and cinematography - golden and ochre hews, Venetian reds, soft camera focus and the glowing whiteness of doctors' caftans, illumined by multiple light sources a la Vermeer - turn death into a feast.
April 26, 2018
Serra self-consciously removes his film from the assaultive world of media. Its slow pace and dark, lush setting require attention but also a forgetting or abandonment of the world outside.
January 15, 2018
A singular, captivating experience.
December 1, 2017
The lugubrious, dusky atmosphere encircling the story requires patience and nerve, but is also poised, touching, and mature.
November 17, 2017
Quite movingly, Louis XIV urgently records and archives the presence of a man-an actor-whose entire life has been filmed and projected as extensively as was probably possible for someone of Laud's generation.
August 30, 2017
Whatever the movie's challenges for viewers, I'm grateful that Serra made it.
July 17, 2017
Serra's sad, stately, haunting addition to the slow-cinema genre doubles up as both an intimate study of the Sun King's death and a requiem for Europe's fading arthouse scene.
July 17, 2017
[Laud,] remembered by film lovers as the young prince of the Nouvelle Vague, certainly gets you thinking about mortality. Story-wise, though, there's little here for viewers not big on French history.
July 16, 2017
Flashes of comedy soon give way to an atmosphere of quiet, inevitable tragedy.
July 14, 2017
One of the most lugubrious movie premises of recent years -- watch King Louis XIV, the Sun King, die slowly, in one dark room, over nearly two hours of screen time -- is here transformed into startling and fresh entertainment.
July 14, 2017
This is less a re-creation of an historical event than a lament for the passing of traditional forms of cinema.
July 14, 2017
If you like this kind of thing, The Death of Louis XIV is fascinating.
July 14, 2017
It is sparse in dialogue, heavy in mood, deliberately avoiding dramatics and sentiment unless it should rise in the viewer.
July 14, 2017
It is a gruelling film but one that weaves a sombre spell.
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