Farewell, My Queen

“An intoxicating opportunity to eavesdrop on history, to be a fly on the wall at the great palace at Versailles as an old order starts its slow-motion collapse into the dustbin of history. FAREWELL, MY QUEEN has a potent emotional component as well, involving the tangled emotional lives of three beautiful women: Marie Antoinette (Diane Kruger), the queen in question; Sidonie Laborde (Léa Seydoux), the monarch’s worshipful young servant; and Gabrielle de Polignac (Virginie Ledoyen), the queen’s special favorite….Matching the strength of these actresses and their personal drama is the film’s masterful sense of time and place—the way it makes us feel that this was how it was during four pivotal days in July 1789 as the wheels came off the French monarchy. Allowed the unusual privilege of actually shooting at Versailles, the film beautifully conveys the chaos and confusion that unfolded as unforeseen, unprecedented events undermined the structure of the monarch as Sidonie gets caught up against her will in the queen’s emotional and possibly erotic entanglement with Gabrielle. This entanglement gets increasingly problematic as the political situation worsens. We listen in, enraptured. History tells us how this story ends, but history is rarely as passionate as this”—Kenneth Turan, L.A. Times. In French with English subtitles. R. 97 Min.

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