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Kings & Queen
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Director Arnaud Desplechin shoots this scene both in color (Nora reading) and in flickering, silent film style black and white (Louis reciting his diary): this simple set up is so effective and so truthful that you gasp with recognition and understanding. Desplechin is dealing with the basic things of life here and what better in this scene than "the thin line between love and hate?"
Desplechin is telling two stories here: one with Nora (and this Nora shares many qualities with Ibsen's Nora...i.e.....she recreates herself during the course of this film) and that of Ismael (the formidable Mathieu Almaric): a former lover of Nora's and a man who is bi-polar, though I prefer the old name for this disease, manic depression which more perfectly describes Ismael.
Nora spends the entire film looking for a father for her child, Elias and Ismael spends the entire film looking for a safe place for himself.Read more ›
In the first story, a beautiful and sophisticated woman, Nora, visits her retired university professor father and finds him very ill. Supported by the staff of the art gallery she manages as well as a sophisticated millionaire boyfriend, she begins to assist her father navigate the medical system. She contacts her junkie sister who begins to hitch hike to her father's side before he dies. She competently holds everything together until a hospice nurse begins to help as the old man goes down for the third time. The intense emotions, the odd dreams, the confrontive relationships full of old hurts, all reminded me of Ingmar Bergman's moody films.
In the second story, a delightfully eccentric musician is hospitalized in a mental hospital at the request of his rageful sister and some unknown party. Ismael, the musician, is comic, creative, resourceful, delightful, sensitive, eccentric, and oddly sexy. He does on a quest to find out who and why he was hositalized. He gets little help from his addicted lawyer or his cold psychiatrist, played by Catherine Deneuve. He continues to see his African Freudian psychotherapist, whom he has seen for 7 years, and we are treated to some wonderful scenes of psychotherapy gone astray.Read more ›
It tells the story of Nora (the "Queen" played by the always intriguing Emmanuelle Devos), and the men in her life, most notably her two exes (one of whom either died or was killed and the other who has just been committed to a mental hospital), her current husband, her son, and her father. She is, it seems, a light and lovely woman who one cannot help but admire, but one who (as we come to discover) can also devastate those who love her. The film comes to alternate between Nora's point of view and that of Ismael, her lively if a bit neurotic ex-husband. The characters are brought to life in a remarkable way, and the stories are brought to a very thoughtful and satisfying (even if a bit troubling) conclusion, insofar as both characters have a deep but very different connection to Nora's son. One feature of the film that is particularly intriguing is the way in which (we) the audience are led to reevaluate our own allegiances to the various characters throughout the film.
The film does start out a bit slowly, and takes its time to tell its stories, but it gradually came to grip me and I couldn't shake (and didn't want to) the feelings and memories and questions it raised for me for several days afterwards.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This film is so very French and so very fabulous. It's drama laced with comedy, poetry, and paradox. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Jodie Simone
This is a wonderful movie, intelligent, thrilling, philosophical...It's a great story and a deep psychological study of the main character played by the divine Devos. Read morePublished on September 5, 2013 by Amazon Customer
This is a brilliant, unusual, tragic, funny, and complex film that delineates characters and family dynamics we've encountered in real life, that I've never seen portrayed on film... Read morePublished on March 29, 2011 by James La France
I buy films for the local Alliance Francaise, and this is one of them. If you're a fan of Emmanuelle Devos, you may like this film more than I did. Read morePublished on May 26, 2010 by Paul Kao
In the theme of Kelly Clarkson's BECAUSE OF YOU, on breaking the chain, found humor, insights and inspiration for the journey.Published on March 4, 2008 by Markus Youssef
This movie is like the foreign film equivalent of a bad Hollywood action movie, but instead of car chases, fight scenes, and an endless stream of explosions, there are unconvincing... Read morePublished on January 2, 2008 by John Caruso
I found KINGS AND QUEEN to be long and tedious. I think the film attempts to be too many things at once and its scattered focus is not as avant garde as it is irritating. Read morePublished on October 15, 2007 by Alan E.
This highly eccentric, character-driven melodrama by France's most intelligent young director is built upon the marvelous performances of Devos and Amalric, the finest and most... Read morePublished on July 20, 2007 by John Farr
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