March 15, 2005



Over on Chutry Experiment the other day, Chuck and his readers were having a discussion about movies which are cinematic comfort food. Cinecultist found this quite coincidential as we devoted the last Sunday to a little apartment cleaning, a Chipolte burrito and some cozying in with a rental one of our hibernating movies, La Reine Margot (1994).

However, our big clue that perhaps this flick isn't the most obvious choice for a weekend afternoon curled up on the couch occured when CC's Dad called mid-movie.

CC's Dad: What are you doing?
CC: Oh, just watching Queen Margot again. I rented it from Kim's. It has Isabel Adjani and Daniel Auteuil in it.
CCD: Oh, they're good. Sorry to interrupt.
CC: That's ok. We're to the part where they kill all the Protestants.
CCD: Uh...

Yes, that's right -- two and a half hours of pretty people in period costumes set against the backdrop of religious war and massacre in Renaissance France! The definition of fun fun, right? Actually, all self-mockery aside this movie is really fantastic. Based on the Alexandre Dumas historical novel about Catherine d' Medici's four children and their struggle to maintain the throne, this film won director Patrice Chéreau and his cast a number of awards at the Cannes Film Festival and the French Oscars that year. It's one of those movies that can't help but spring to our mind when you discuss the golden age of Miramax, the American distributor that released the picture here.

Adjani's really spectacular as Margot, not least because the actress is 38 during filming playing a 20 something historical character. She does haughty, and she does passionate. She can do it all. But let's not forget Vincent Perez as her lover and protector, La Mole, who's birth and religion precludes a real relationship with the Catholic princess. Zowie, that Perez is h-o-t-t. Distracting, he is. The sweeping vistas, the brutal sword fights, the vast court scenes, the violent death of a very young Asia Argento caught in a palace intrigue, Queen Margot is epic filmmaking at its peak.

This movie is so great, it makes us hopeful for Ridley Scott's Kingdom of Heaven merely because it's of the same genre. Now that's a movie hope that really springs eternal.

Posted by karen at March 15, 2005 11:30 PM