Monday, July 21, 2008

The Duchess of Langeais

The Film Festival programme says that this is a "tale of drawing room passion is superbly by two strikingly odd actors, Jeanne Balibar and Guillaume Depardieu. She's the aristocratic Antoinette, a seasoned coquette who mocks the awkward courtship of her socially clumsy suitor, a Napoleonic General and war hero. Pushing him too far, she finds herself becoming the pursuer." The general and the duchess are almost sadistic and masochistic in the way they treat each other and themselves. It is an old fashioned story about social mores that are completely foreign to us today, but the two main actors do a great job of bring them alive and making them believable.

The film is in three acts and I think the middle act was way too long and bored the audience. Even though I know the length added to the tension, but even the endless parade of empire line dresses got repetitive.

I think this film would suit those want to see a costume drama that feels historic rather than being a modern style story set in beautiful old clothes and buildings. Or else it would suit someone looking for a tortured love story played out with 18th/19th century civility and length. In which case it would be 4/5, but for the rest of us it has difficulty scraping past 1/5.

Ian's rating 1.5/5
Anne's rating 2/5

1 comment:

  1. I slept through large chunks of this movie (I blame eating beforehand and it being warm and dark)so my opinion may not be especially valid) but I thought this movie would be more watchable in half hour chunks as a TV series.