Les adieux à la reine

Les adieux à la reine

Farewell, my queen

DVD - 2013 | French
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Sidonie, who serves as reader to Marie Antoinette and displays a singular romantic devotion to the queen, witnesses the final days of the French Revolution from inside the walls of the Palace of Versailles. The film is seen from Sidonie's point of view, and the story takes place over the course of four days.

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Nursebob
Dec 27, 2014

Benoît Jacquot’s sumptuous period piece, based on Chantal Thomas’ novel, examines the final days of Marie Antoinette (a solid performance from Diane Kruger) as seen through the eyes of her devoted servant Sidonie Laborde. With whispers of civil unrest in the background the grand court of France carries on with the usual small intrigues, sexual indiscretions, and extravagant parties. Nowhere is this more apparent than with the Queen herself, a frail and flighty creature whose days consist of scandalous novels (read to her by Sidonie) and poring over fashion magazines. But when the Bastille is stormed and the mob begins their pogrom of beheadings, the crystal and gilt interiors of Versailles quickly become an oppressive warren of frightened nobles and scurrying rats. With only her sometime lover the Duchess Gabrielle and faithful Sidonie at her side, Marie Antoinette is forced into a series of fateful decisions—one of which will finally reveal her true nature to an increasingly cynical and disenchanted Sidonie. Filmed on location, Jacquot painstakingly recreates the pre-revolutionary French court from the intricate wigs and costumes to hallways littered with artwork and tapestries. His nighttime scenes are especially gorgeous seemingly lit using nothing but glowing candles and moonlight. The fact that advancing hordes of angry peasants are only alluded to in monstrous rumours is a nice touch which forces us to concentrate on the chaotic elements of a royal household in dissolution—this is not a historical epic but rather a study in various reactions to historical events happening offscreen. However, despite the elaborate touches and capable cast there is a distinct lack of momentum to a story already hampered by too many details for those of us not familiar with "La Révolution". Furthermore a handful of noteworthy performances fail to elicit much energy resulting in lots of running around and hasty embraces but no passion. A gold-plated treat for the eye, a humdrum exercise for the mind.

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eusebius
Jun 26, 2014

Effective costume drama. Actors generally good, especially Diane Kruger. The drama is under the rich silks and tapestries of the palace.

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Ron@Ottawa
Nov 18, 2013

Set in the turbulent times of 17-century France, the film focuses on the relationship between a servant girl(a reader) and queen Marie Antoinette. It is a watchable period/history piece but fairly slow and uneventful. French with English subtitles.

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re_discover
Jul 16, 2013

I thought that the sets were amazing in "Farewell, My Queen," but I too was disappointed with the lack of plot and character development. I kept waiting for something to happen.

voisjoe1 Jun 06, 2013

Lea Seydoux plays Sidonie, the reader for the queen of France, Marie Antoinette. The story is seen from the viewpoint of Sidonie, the servant, and shows the four days surrounding the storming of the Bastille, which is the beginning of the French Revolution. Through this presentation, although fictional, gives us a unique perspective of both historic and personal relationships between the two classes, royalty and the common person. The film is an excellent mix of historical events (quite intense and chaotic) and the intimate relationship between the royalty and their close personal servants. Lea Seydoux, would go on to play Emma, the protagonist of the three hour 2013 Cannes Palme d’Or winner “Blue is the Warmest Color.”

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GuyN
May 01, 2013

This movie is fascinating for its realistic (as opposed to Hollywood) portrayal of life at Versailles in 1789. Some scenes are actually shot at the palace and we spend a fair amount of time in the servant's area. On the other hand, most of the characters are rather bland and the plot can be summed up by the word "confusion".

LaimaA Apr 08, 2013

It was interesting seeing court life from the viewpoint of a worker bee. It's a fascinating glimpse of the mundane and tedious life of those pushed and pulled to satisfy the whims of the spoiled and selfish few.

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Ron@Ottawa
Nov 18, 2013

Sexual Content: A couple of brief scenes of nudity.

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