Director: Bertrand Tavernier

France-Germany • 2010 • 139 minutes

Set in the early years of the sixteenth-century Wars of Religion, Bertrand Tavernier’s lavish literary epic is the story of a young noblewoman torn between love and duty. The titular Marie (Mélanie Thierry), though passionately in love with her cousin Henri (Gaspard Ulliel) and already promised to his brother, is arranged to be married to the son of one of her father’s political allies. Marie does as ordered, cutting ties with Henri and acquiescing to a loveless marriage. However, her husband’s jealousies are inflamed as his fellow noblemen openly covet his beautiful, innocent wife, while his tutor secretly loves her, a situation exacerbated by the reappearance of her true love. With impressively large-scale battle scenes and remarkable attention to period detail, this is commercial French cinema at its best.

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