La princesse de Montpensier (The Princess of Montpensier)

2011

La princesse de Montpensier (The Princess of Montpensier)

Critics Consensus

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85%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 66

54%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 6,642
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Movie Info

France, 1562. Against a background of the savage Catholic/Protestant wars, Marie de Mézières (Mélanie Thierry), a beautiful young aristocrat, and the rakish Henri de Guise (Gaspard Ulliel), fall in love, but Marie's father has promised her hand in marriage to the Prince of Montpensier (Grégoire Leprince-Ringuet). When he is called away to battle, her husband leaves her in the care of Count Chabannes (Lambert Wilson), an aging nobleman with a disdain for warfare. As he experiences his own forbidden desire for Marie, Chabannes must also protect her from the dangerously corrupt court dominated by Catherine de Medici. Director Tavernier translates Madame de Lafayette's 1622 novella into a bracingly intelligent and moving evocation of the terrible conflict between duty and passion. Though the themes are classic, Tavernier, with the cinematographer Bruno de Keyzer's vivid landscapes and Philippe Sarde's pulsing score, makes them feel passionately, urgently contemporary. -- (C) IFC

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Cast

Mélanie Thierry
as Marie de Montpensier
Lambert Wilson
as Comte de Chabannes
Grégoire Leprince-Ringuet
as Prince de Montpensier
Gaspard Ulliel
as Henri de Guise
Raphaël Personnaz
as Duc d'Anjou
Samuel Theïs
as La Valette
Michel Vuillermoz
as Duc de Montpensier
Judith Chemla
as Catherine de Guise
Philippe Magnan
as Marquis de Mézières
Jean-Pol Dubois
as Cardinal de lorraine
Florence Thomassin
as Cardinal de Lorraine
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News & Interviews for La princesse de Montpensier (The Princess of Montpensier)

Critic Reviews for La princesse de Montpensier (The Princess of Montpensier)

All Critics (66) | Top Critics (25)

  • Both handsomely mounted and, for the most part, rousingly acted out.

    Jul 8, 2011 | Rating: 3/5
  • It's clear that veteran director Bertrand Tavernier has set out to show the potency and relevance of a classic love story and that period romance is by no means a dead genre. On this evidence, he has a point.

    Jul 8, 2011 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • It gallops along as elegantly and confidently as the horsemen we see in the opening scene - part bodice-ripper, part patrician soap opera, and part romantic tragedy - albeit a romantic tragedy of no very great resonance or depth.

    Jul 7, 2011 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • Functions swimmingly as an ambiguous study of wrongly diverted passions.

    Jul 6, 2011 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

    David Jenkins

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • An engrossing subplot tracks the older man's chaste devotion to the young man's wife, which Tavernier parallels with his love of Christ; unfortunately the routine love triangle takes up most of the screen time.

    Jun 3, 2011 | Full Review…
  • Swords cross, blood spurts and bosoms heave in The Princess of Montpensier, French director Bertrand Tavernier's thoroughly ravishing drama.

    Jun 3, 2011 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for La princesse de Montpensier (The Princess of Montpensier)

  • Oct 12, 2013
    I guess I am just a sucker for a pretty face. I quite enjoyed this, despite its shortcomings. A tragic story of a woman caught between her duty and her passion, who throws it all over for a man who proved unworthy. It also portrayed her husband as a man consumed by insecurity and jealousy. The battle scenes were brutal, the French countryside bucolic and the court intrigues just subtle enough for this viewer to find himself immersed for the more than two hours that the film ran.
    Mark A Super Reviewer
  • Apr 10, 2012
    Nice story. Beautifully done. However, it just goes on and on, and has one of those unsatisfying endings...2 1/2hrs is way too long to have to wait for an ending like that. Great costumes and art direction, though.
    Cynthia S Super Reviewer
  • Aug 10, 2011
    For a film which strives for "l'amour", this is a coldly directed and not sweeping enough epic with an irritating protagonist at its center. Quite frankly, one huge bore.
    Matheus C Super Reviewer
  • Apr 24, 2011
    In "The Princess of Montpensier," the Count of Chabannes(Lambert Wilson) has finally come to his senses in 1562 to leave all the killing behind in the war between the Catholics and the Huguenots. In trying to return home, he learns the king will not have him because he was on the wrong side and the Huguenots won't have him because he deserted. So, he gets protection from an old friend(Michel Vuillermoz) where he finds a delicate domestic situation. Marie(Melanie Thierry) is horrified at the prospects at marrying Philippe(Gregoire Leprince-Ringuet), instead preferring Henri(Gaspard Ulliel) who she professes her undying love for. Somehow, her mother(Florence Thomassin) talks her down from entering a convent and the marriage goes as planned, while the consumation is another matter entirely.(Well, you try and get it up while everybody is watching.) Chabannes tags along with the couple in his role as tutor before Philippe is drafted into service to the king. Directed by Bertrand Tavernier, "The Princess of Montpensier" is a handsomely produced and engaging period piece. The strucure is a little odd at first because it starts out focusing on Chabannes before introducing the viewer to a chaotic situation all at once. While he is the most interesting character by far, he is simply an observer to everything else that goes on. And while that might seem as little more than a love triangle where everybody is at fault, it does not detract from the movie since it fits in well with the period, especially mirroring the civil war where nobody can get along with anybody else of a different background, even in an era when order and rank are preeminent and arranged marriages are accepted fact. In fact, the best that can be expected of one is peaceful coexistence and one is proposed in the movie that is very wrong on so many levels. Even with all of that said, an arranged marriage of historical fact is referenced that is intended to unite this war torn country.
    Walter M Super Reviewer

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