Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Queen Margot |
La Reine Margot
Actors: Isabelle Adjani, Daniel Auteuil, Jean-Hugues Anglade, Vincent Perez, Virna Lisi
Director: Patrice Chéreau
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
A classic tale of intrigue and forbidden love, QUEEN MARGOT is the powerful hit universally acclaimed by critics! Thrown into a political marriage of convenience by her ruthlessly power-hungry family, the beautiful Margot ... more »
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A POWERFUL AND SEDUCTIVE FILM...
Lawyeraau | Balmoral Castle | 05/02/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Based upon a romantic work of historical fiction by Alexandre Dumas, "Marguerite De Valois", this is yet another triumphant period piece by Miramax Films. Critically acclaimed, the film is the winner of five Cesar Awards, as well as the prestigious Cannes Film Festival Jury Prize.
The film is set in medieval Catholic France during the reign of Charles IX. There has been unrest between the Catholic majority and the Protestant (Huguenot) minority. It is August 24, 1572, a day that will live in infamy. The day begins auspiciously enough, as it is the wedding day for Margot, the sister of Charles IX. It is an arranged marriage between Catholic Margot and Protestant Henri de Bourbon, the King of Navarre, a province in France. It is a marriage that is supposed to quell the unrest between these two warring religions. As such, many Protestants travel to Paris to see the union between these two royal personages.
After the wedding, the evil and power hungry Dowager Queen, Catherine de Medici, mother to Charles IX and his two younger brothers, Anjou and Alencon, as well as Margot, sets in motion a series of intrigues and plots and reveals what her true motives were in arranging this marriage, motives that the King of Navarre already suspects. Far from being a merger to unite Catholics and Protestants, it is a call to arms against the Protestants, resulting in the infamous St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre, in which over six thousand unsuspecting Protestant men, women, and children were brutally slain.
Margot, who initially dislikes her husband and is known for her wantonness, does make a pact with him to be his ally. When the carnage begins she is appalled but is soon drawn into her family's plots and intrigues. She realizes, however, that her survival, as well as that of her husband, depends upon her new lover, La Mole, son of Coligny, the King's slain advisor. Thereafter, Catherine de Medici continues to plot against the King of Navarre, seeking his death. Margot spends most of the film trying to keep her mother and brothers in check and her husband safe, while satisfying herself with La Mole.
Isabelle Adjani is stunning in the role of Margot. Luminous and looking ethereally beautiful, she is simply magnificent. Daniel Auteuil is terrific as the beleaguered King of Navarre. He infuses the role with a warmth and humanity that makes the viewer instinctively root for him. Jean-Hugues Anglade is excellent as Charles IX, a weak king dominated by his ruthless, grasping mother who would rather see her favorite son, Anjou, on the throne. Anglade makes the role three dimensional as he adds a certain sensitivity to the role. Pascal Greggory, who plays Anjou, adds a certain delicious creepiness to the role of the envious younger brother who longs for his brother's death so that he can wear the crown. Virna Lisi is a commanding presence as the evil Catherine de Medici, who would willingly sacrifice her children for power and see so many of her plans go awry. Last but not least, Vincent Perez is excellent as handsome and loyal La Mole.
Potential viewers of this French language film should be aware that it is an extremely violent film, due to the St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre. It is also sexually explicit, with frontal nudity scenes. Moreover, while the DVD provides wide screen format, excellent audio and visuals, as well as scene selections and subtitles, it does not offer any extras. Notwithstanding this, the film is one that all those who enjoy period films or historical fiction will, undoubtedly, enjoy."
A beautiful film done a huge disservice
Julian Rad | New York City, New York | 05/11/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Queen Margot is one of the more beautiful french films you are likely to see - right up there with Tous Les Matins du Monde and La Belle Noiseuse. The story is well executed, the direction excellent, the acting top notch, the actors all exquisitely beautiful, the art departments are spectacular and the lighting and cinematography are outstanding. So why on earth did Miramax decide to put out such a horribly bad DVD transfer of this glorious film? From the opening credits, the amount of digital artifacting in the blacks is horrific - the frames literally freeze when there is no movement on screen - the audio is hollow and without depth - and picture detailing is washed out. Now, you will likely get used to these appalling bad choices on the part of the distribution company who decided to save a few bucks on a decent DVD encoding and still get wrapped up in the stunningly beautiful Isabelle Adajani (who was over 40 at the time of this film's lensing!) and the truly compelling storytelling going on in this film. However, it's just such a disappointment to see a company reknown for it's sensitivity to the "art film" genre make such a crassly ignorant decision as this one. Let's all hope that Criterion decides to honor this truly deserving film with a DVD transfer worthy of it's filmmakers. 5 stars for the film and 0 stars for the DVD itself = 3 stars overall - worth renting for those who haven't seen it, worth owning for those of us who love it and for those who can live without, wait until a proper DVD is put out!"
Dumas would approve
John Tilelli MD | Apopka, FL USA | 10/07/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Alexandre Dumas was among the first writers of fantasy fiction. He and Victor Hugo pioneered the serial novel. Here's the formula: take a simple hisotrical fact, for example - that Henri III succeeded Charles IX, son of Catherine de Medici. Then let your mind go wild about what the time must have been like, with all its passions and intrigues. Poof! You have a wonderful roman feuilletee that will keep readers coming back and coming back for each installment. Reading La Reine Margot can be distracting, because Dumas was something less than perfect in the continuity department. The story, however has plenty of bones to hang an incredibly good modernized version on them. The linchpins are as old as time itself: the conflict between equally blind and uncompromizing religions, the dilemma of love vs. duty, and the trageday that attends true love. This would be pretty even in modern garb.The production is marvelous. The sets are warm and mysterious. Isabelle Adjani captures all of the sensuality and savvy of Margueritte de Valois. The casting of a very ordinary looking Henri Navarre is brilliant. Those of us who have read the original may miss Coconnais and de la Mole as their significance is underplayed. That is OK. Both actors play the part to a "T". The Duc de Guise is as slimy as you imagine him to be, and Catherine just as evil. Indeed this is Harry Potter - the meticulous transcription of a good novel to film - for adults, and it gets an A+.I guess you can tell how I feel about Dumas. Judge for yourself, but I doubt that very many will watch this film and walk away disappointed."
Great movie, Horrible DVD
John Tilelli MD | 09/05/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This DVD is a tremendous disappointment. My wife and I love this movie, but the nonanamorphic image is frequently blurred, over saturated, and distorted. The sound is listenable but unimpressive. In all, I would have hoped for a better presentation. Save your money. Let's hope the studios wake up and start giving us high definition ANAMORPHIC remastering on all DVD releases. This release is almost as pathetic as the hugely disappointing DVD of Europa Europa."