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All Critics (16)
| Top Critics (7)
| Fresh (11)
| Rotten (5)
"The Princess of France" has an appealing lightness and modesty, but it also feels flimsy and thin, like clever scribblings in the margins of a book, fleeting insights in search of form and energy.
What's onscreen is often more noteworthy for the particular atmosphere, mood and language rather than any particular role the characters or events might be playing in moving the overall narrative forward.
Even the most deliberately airy amusement can use more ingenious structuring and assertive personality than Pineiro is inclined to provide at this (still early) stage in his career.
For Piñero's characters, Shakespeare isn't just a creative challenge; it establishes the rules of their universe, even as their director expertly breaks them by forging a new path.
Victor begins and remains a cipher, leaving the movie little beyond unusual camera angles and confusing repetition.
The action takes place in streets and bedrooms, studios and museums, and the actors are never word-bound; Piñeiro, a master choreographer, sets them in graceful motion and captures them in fluid, lively images.
... enjoyable, pithy, charming... [Full review in Spanish]
While The Princess of France is a comedy, it, like the Shakespeare play foregrounded within, is ultimately a dark and bittersweet tragedy.
The happy paradox of Piñeiro's work is that for all its meticulous control, it's also modest, starting with those truncated running times and including also the pared-down size of the narratives.
In Piñeiro's Shakespeare films, kisses are not "stolen," as the idiom has it, so much as frantically exchanged like batons in a relay, whisked from one character to another, punctuating the film rhythmically.
The Princess Of France ambles from one low-key encounter to another, rarely engaging directly with the Bard, and never elevating its heart rate beyond the resting level.
The precise attachments, romantic or otherwise, among the constellation of characters may be deliberately confusing, but the performers themselves, all part of the writer-director's regular troupe, are exceptionally vivid.
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