WEALTH AND DESIRE. POLITICS AND CORRUPTION. CELEBRITY AND SEXUALITY. AN 18TH-CENTURY FRENCHWOMAN COMBINES THEM ALL IN A TREACHEROUS SCHEME TO ACQUIRE THE 2800-CARAT DIAMOND NECKLACE THAT WILL ENABLE HER TO BUY BACK THE ROY... more »AL STATUS TAKEN FROMHER.« less
Ginger G. (ggoetz) from TAYLOR MILL, KY Reviewed on 7/10/2012...
I thoroughly enjoyed this movie - beautiful cinematography, acting (for the most part) was quite good. The costumes are gorgeous. It was a nice afternoon of entertainment. The storyline may not have been completely accurate, but that's why I viewed it - for entertainment - not as a history lesson.
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Gayle V. from CLARKSVILLE, TN Reviewed on 6/11/2012...
Dull & contrived for the most part. I agree with other reviewers that the supporting actors were great, Swank just wasn't believable in this role.
Someone, please strangle her with that necklace
Leah M. Brown | Anchorage, Alaska USA | 07/15/2002
(2 out of 5 stars)
"What a wretched piece of cinema. I mean, truly wretched. And the fault lies almost totally with Hillary Swank. She plays Jeanne de la Motte with such-over-the top mellodrama. She never seems to totally connect with the character, giving us this wide-eyed, fast-talking character that is neither compelling nor sympathetic.What an utter shame. For she was surrounded by some true talent. The actor who plays Cardinal de Rohan is fantastic. In fact, all of the secondary actors and actresses do a decent job. There's also the matter of the wildly inaccurate retelling of history. Clearly the writers and director wanted viewers to feel terribly sorry for poor little Jeanne. They perverted history in the telling of the story, casting Jeanne in the role of the poor, innocent, misused and discarded aristocrat who is justified in her actions. The truth was, Jeanne de la Motte was a whore and a thief, a con-woman who helped topple the monarchy and murder a queen. For more information on the affair of the necklace, read Simon Schama's book Citizens, or visit the award-winning website, Let Them Eat Cake.The costumes in this movie are phenomenal. Truly eye candy. If it weren't for the wonderful sets and splendid costumes, this movie would have rated a ZERO."
ithaca4e | Los Angeles, CA USA | 12/09/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a wonderful film; one with talented acting, surperb cinematography, and a well fitted contemporary music score. Sadly, I'm not as sangine about the prospects for this film's popularity as a previous reviewer. It's not the film's fault, but rather the fault of the majority of the popular viewing public who may not relish finely made historical dramas that contain such Machiavellian intrigue, mixed with the struggle for personal vindication. This is a film that will be mainly appreciated by a more knowledgeable and educated audience. I would suggest that a brushing up on the social and political history of late 18th century France would be helpful in adding to the richness of experience that this film has to offer."
A Falsification of History.
JB | 07/05/2006
(2 out of 5 stars)
"I understand that historic episodes adapted into film must be changed to a certain degree in order to be viewable in the movie theaters.However, in this case, real History is far more interesting and complex than the horror they made when writting the script of this movie and this is why: -In the movie, Jeanne de la Motte descended from the Valois royal family, and her wealthy father got killed because he wanted people to be free and he could lay claim to the French throne...False! In reality, Jeanne claimed to descend from an Ilegitimate son of Henri II of Valois(The Bastard of Angouleme) which means her father had no legal rights on the French throne.Moreover, her father was a drunk in real life and her mother was a prostitute. -In the movie Jeanne also is presented as a victim of the Monarchy, by writting her memoirs. The movie doesn't mention however that Jeanne falsely implicated Marie Antoinette in the Affair of the Necklace and she blackmailed her up untill the revolution.The Queen was innocent of everything. In other words, the movie presents a rather innocent almost angelic Jeanne de la Motte when in reality she was a far darker, more corrupted woman who never stopped intriguing untill the time of her death. The only thing worth seeing about this movie are the costumes and sets: they are extremely accurate and they got the chance to film some scenes in Versailles which is very rare. Let's hope Sofia Coppola makes this story more justice in her upcoming picture "Marie Antoinette"..."
Should Have Been Better
Stephen M. Moser | Austin, Texas USA | 01/23/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This historical drama is very nearly fabulous - but just misses it. It is a famous tale of intrigue and scandal, one that lent fiery fuel to Marie Antoinette's bad reputation, which in turn led to her beheading. It is the story of Countess Jeanne St. Remy Valois, played by Hilary Swank in her first role after winning an Oscar for *Boys Don't Cry*. Perhaps the point was to see how Miss Swank could act while wearing a dress, but the results are mixed, to say the least. Made out to be completely sympathetic, the Countess sees her father murdered and their property taken from them, and she wishes to avenge the wrong done to them. Begging for an audience with the Queen (Joely Richardson *is* fabulous as Marie Antoinette), the Countess is rebuffed. Meanwhile, in an unrelated episode, the Queen's jewelers have designed a magnificent diamond necklace, but the Queen, though she allegedly covets the necklace, does not purchase it, leaving the jewelers in a tight spot. The Countess falls in with an attractive courtier and also forms an alliance with Cardinal de Rohan (played magnificently by Jonathon Pryce), who is out of favor with the Queen, and convinces him to buy the necklace to smooth things over between them. Of course, the Countess is planning on stealing the necklace so that she may live happily ever after. Through machinations such a stolen letterhead, mistaken identities and other deceptions, the story comes to a boil when the details of the scandal begin to see the light of day, and unravels the careers of everyone concerned (especially Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette). It is a gripping story in the right hands. Clearly director Charles Shyer's oeuvre is comedy, and he's written, directed or produced many fine ones, such as *Private Benjamin*, *Irreconcilable Differences*, *Father of the Bride* and *The Parent Trap*. But historical drama is not his long suit. The supporting cast, cinematography, costumes and art direction are superb and engaging, but Swank is the weak link in the equation. She is simply not skilled enough to handle the role - she is passionless and wooden, but fortunately there are many scenes without her that sizzle with drama. All in all, there is a great deal of entertainment here, and if you though Hilary Swank was good in *Beverly Hills 90210*, then you'll love her in this."
L'Affaire du Collier
Matthew S. Schweitzer | Columbus, OH United States | 06/28/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The Affair of the Necklace is an entertaining and lavish retelling of the infamous scandal, in the years just prior to the outbreak of the French Revolution, that invloved a disgraced countess, a lecherous cardinal, the Queen of France, and a fabulous diamond necklace. Hillary Swank plays the Comtesse de la Motte Valois, the daughter of a disgraced and murdered nobleman who is obsessed with reclaiming her title and her lands. Though married to a rakish philanderer, she falls in with a handsome though disreputable courtier named Rateux de Villet and the two hatch a ploy to use the rich and influential cardinal Rohan to buy the necklace, supposedly for Marie Antoinette, but in reality so that the Comtesse can use the diamonds to buy back her estate and reinstate her family's reputation. Once the cardinal realizes he has been duped he sets out to bring down the conspirators, but before he can, he himself is accused of complicity in the affair, along with his shady and mysterious "mystic" advisor Count Cagliostro, played by an outrageously wonderful Christopher Walken. The ensuing scandal enflames the country as the public, already resentful of the extravagance and indifference of the aristocracy, blame the ostentaciously elegant Antoinette as the true architect of the affair. The resulting backlash over the scandal helps to ingnite the Revolution and sends Antoinette and Louis XVI to the guillotine. The Affair of the Necklace has its faults, but overall it is engaging and beautifully filmed, with sumptuous costumes and lavish sets. Swank is a little out of her element as the noble Comtesse, but even her American accent and sometimes cheesy dialogue can be overlooked. Walken is over-the-top but enjoyable as the charlatan seer Cagliostro, Jonathan Pryce is excellent as the sleazy cardinal Rohan, and Joley Richardson gives a good performance in her role as Marie Antoinette. This is an enjoyable piece of historic drama."