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THE PRINCESS OF MONTPENSIER

Director: BERTRAND TAVERNIER

139 minutes| France-Germany| 2010| Subtitled| Colour| D-Cinema


EXCLUSIVELY AT IFI

FRENCH FILM CLUB – Screening on July 18th at 18.00

Based on Madame de la Fayette’s novella and set in 16th-century France during the Wars of Religion, when Catholics fought the Huguenots, veteran director Bertrand Tavernier’s latest is an exciting and intelligent historical epic that’s filmed with the kind of lucidity the French cineaste so admires in classic Hollywood westerns. The titular princess (Melanie Thierry) is a beautiful, independent-minded woman whose passion is thwarted by the political scheming of her ambitious father. She loves the Duc de Guise (Gaspard Ulliel) but is forced to marry Prince Philippe (Gregoire Leprince-Ringuet), whose friend and mentor the Comte de Chabannes (Lambert Wilson) is enlisted to educate the young princess. Complications ensue, with as many as four men vying for the princess, as Tavernier presents an admirably clear-eyed portrait of a society torn apart by misplaced passion and pointless war. The brutality of the battle scenes is matched by the cruelty of the protagonists’ feelings, with Lambert Wilson’s disillusioned philosopher-warrior emerging as the most sympathetic victim. (Notes by Peter Walsh).

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