Lifeless French costume drama set at the same time as LA REINE MARGOT and suffering by comparison with that passionate, violent film. Melanie Thierry is decorous but banal as the Princess, married off to her dull cousin Montpensier, rather than the man she loves, wily, manipulative Henri de Guise. Left alone in a rustic castle she inspires the love of wise, gentle Huguenot, the Comte de Chabannes, but it's hard to see why. And then when the Duc d'Anjou, heir to the French throne pops by, he also falls for her. Sent to Court, we then get the Princess attracting the admiration and jealousy of her husband, Chabonnes, Anjou and Guise - at the same time. I kid you not, but there are messages given to the wrong man behind the mask, and a lot of hiding on staircases for a man who never comes. People get pissed off, lovers recoil, and it all runs out of steam long before it ends. This film lacks any passion, spark of sense of stakes. Which is amazing when you consider that we have Catherine de Medicis as a character and the St Bartholomew's Day massacre as an event. Altogether, this movie feels less like a costume drama/romance and more like a lo-fi soap opera. Dull, dull, dull.
Additional tags: Bruno de Keyzer, Melanie Thierry, Raphaël Personnaz, Bertrand Tavernier, Francois-Olivier Rousseau, Jean Cosmos.
THE PRINCESS OF MONTPENSIER played Cannes 2010 and was released earlier this year in Greece. It will be released in France on November 3rd.