La princesse de Montpensier

La princesse de Montpensier

DVD - 2011 | French
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Marie de Mezieres is deeply in love with her dashing cousin Henri de Guise. However, due to her father's political ambitions, she is forced into a marriage with the well-connected Philippe de Montpensier, who she has never met. When Philippe is called away to fight, she is left in the care of Count Chabannes, an aging nobleman. It isn't long before she is exposed to the sexual and political intrigues of court.
Publisher: [United States] : IFC Films, 2011
ISBN: 9780788614125
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (140 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in
Alternative Title: Princess of Montpensier


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Dec 14, 2018

Tavernier gives us a love story set in the first decade of the exhausting French wars of religion, with his screenplay based on the short novel that Madame de Lafayette wrote in the following century. Mélanie Thierry plays the pursued princess with über botoxed lips; this was her breakthrough film in France. But it is Lambert Wilson who delivers the standout performance as the upright and irenic comte de Chabanne, who loves with integrity and dies with honour. Tavernier plays fast and loose with chronology, but on balance this film pays a surprising respect to the historical record. The battle scenes, which accurately depict the fighting as ugly, messy brawls, are spot on. However, the clumsy swordplay in the individual combats between the lovers is well south of realistic. Overall, an enjoyable (albeit longish) costume drama with decent acting, surprisingly good horsemanship, and lots of photogenic landscapes. The pity is that the OPL's copy has neither French nor English subtitles, so be ready to give your French a workout. But it's worth it.

Jul 09, 2017

A historical romance that starts out right: realistic without bogging down in too much detail, romantic without becoming a bodice ripper. I expected to become irritated with our flirtatious heroine, who is so conflicted and unhappy although she has a perfectly nice young husband who looks like a blend of Ryan Gosling and Ryan Reynolds. No -- she held my sympathy, and her feelings seemed sincere. Oh, there are flaws: would Catherine de Medici really confess her marital plans for her daughter to a stranger, in public? Would all these important men become deeply interested in one young woman's love life? But the gorgeous scenery and people carried me along, until the third act, when it becomes obvious there is no more story. A lot of men fall in love with the princess, and then there is the St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre. Overall, the film is enjoyable, but a wasted opportunity. It would be interesting to watch with another and I think better movie, set in the same and place, Queen Margot. ETA: yes, there are subtitles to this addition.

Nov 05, 2016

There is 1 exceptional thing I can say about this film...Gaspard Ulliel who plays the lover of the princess.

Nov 01, 2016

I WAS looking forward to this, however -- NO SUBTITLES!!!

Dec 31, 2014

Set during France’s horrific religious wars of the 16th century, Tavernier’s epic costume drama centres on the lovely yet emotionally fickle Marie de Montpensier, the “richest heiress in France”. Forced into a hasty marriage of convenience with the hot-tempered young Phillipe by her overbearing father, Marie still carries a flaming torch for the brash and moody Henri, scion of a lesser house which has recently fallen out of favour with the royal court. Prone to fits of jealous rage, Phillipe is all too aware of the smouldering looks his bride casts in Henri’s direction as he tries to keep the two of them apart. Meanwhile Francois de Chabannes, the celebrated soldier turned pacifist assigned to tutor Marie, begins to have dangerous feelings of his own for the bright-eyed young woman. Over the course of the film’s 139-minute running time faith will be broken, love will be gained and lost, and one person will pay dearly for their desires. Although the storyline sometimes threatens to become a Harlequin chick flick Tavernier’s assured direction coupled with the film’s sumptuous widescreen cinematography manages to smooth over its few soppier elements. Elaborate wardrobes abound while richly appointed sets practically glow in honey-coloured candlelight. Battle scenes are filmed in excruciating close-up, clandestine trysts are bathed in soft shadows, and a few strategically placed tapestries add a subtle irony. But even as the film excels in lush imagery and an ethereal score (the choral music is sublime) the lack of any real chemistry between the actors creates a lukewarm passion that fails to ignite. Not so much a bodice ripper as a bodice wrinkler, Tavernier still manages to produce an engaging, if occasionally overdone, historical romance.

Jun 27, 2014

The French always are always careful in recreating a period, costumes, furniture, makeup, sets,etc. and this film is no exception. Although I found one moment near the end particularly moving (telling would be a definite spoiler) I found it difficult to identify with any of the characters, who seemed so willfully stupid. In sum, this movie has fine production values, but remains in the shallow end of the intellectual pool.

EuSei Nov 05, 2012

Although quite different from Madame de La Fayette’s original short story, this is a beautiful period piece. Several unknown actors (at least to me), but Lambert Wilson carried the story as the sober Comte de Chabane throughout this slow, thoughtful movie.

Aug 01, 2012

so very, very bad. potential to about halfway, if you stopped there, you could probably walk away satisfied, believing that they were going somewhere with a real plot, dynamic characters striving through adversity and all that other stuff that constitutes 3 hours of film. i you keep watching, it decays into a monotonous hour and a half of watching the princess be bored and stupid, and pay for it.

Apr 19, 2012

I don't think Michael and I saw the same movie. Wonderful, action, engaging, romance, and chilvalry are not words that come to mind when I thing of this movie.

Mar 15, 2012

I really enjoyed this wonderful Period piece. It has so much going for it: Action; Engaging plot; Romance; Chivalry; Historical relevance; Wonderful scenery and glorious cinematography; Beautiful and illustrious actors! I enjoyed it all - through and through! It even manages to work in some age-old lessons that anyone can take to heart about the verisimilitude of Life. I highly recommend it!

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