Princess of Montpensier 2011 NR CC

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(86) IMDb 6.5/10
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A lush, romantic drama set in the high courts of 16th Century France. Against the backdrop of the savage Catholic/Protestant wars, Marie de Mézières finds herself married to a young prince she does not love, haunted by a rakish suitor from her childhood, and advised by an aging nobleman, harboring his own forbidden desire for her.

Mélanie Thierry, Lambert Wilson
2 hours, 20 minutes

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Princess of Montpensier

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Product Details

Genres Drama, Romance, Action
Director Bertrand Tavernier
Starring Mélanie Thierry, Lambert Wilson
Supporting actors Gaspard Ulliel, Grégoire Leprince-Ringuet, Raphaël Personnaz, Michel Vuillermoz, Philippe Magnan, Florence Thomassin, Christine Brücher, Evelina Meghnagi, Judith Chemla, César Domboy, Jean-Pol Dubois, Charles Petit, Joséphine de La Baume, Anatole de Bodinat, Samuel Theis, Eric Rulliat, Jean-Yves Roan, Nathalie Krebs
Studio IFC Films
MPAA rating NR (Not Rated)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Other Formats

Customer Reviews

The way the film was made was rather boring, though.
Paul Kao
I just could not get into this movie; in fact I fell asleep while watching.
James Vugteveen
High quality costume drama with good acting and scenery.
Scott Stuart Prysi

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

54 of 56 people found the following review helpful By Gerard D. Launay on September 10, 2011
Format: DVD
Love it, love it, love it. The acting, the cinematography, the costumes...

Most swashbucklers - let's say "The Three Musketeers" - feature sizzling action, romance, treachery...but in the end they are little else but entertainment. This one is a fable of misguided passion.

Marie, the beautiful woman of the tale, becomes the object of desire of four men. The first is her childhood sweetheart, the second is her husband, the third is a prince, and the fourth is a count who is commissioned to educate her. This is a man's world, and they all attempt to woo Marie to become their prize...but she will not offer her love to anyone but her first object of desire.

The events are placed in the context of a religious war between the Catholics and the Protestants in 16th century France. Perhaps the most interesting character, the moral center of the film, is the Count of Chabannes - a man who renounces violence after killing a pregnant woman. He becomes disillusioned about killing others just for religious differences. He is one of the men most attracted to Marie, not just for her beauty, but particularly for her spirit and intelligence. But she refuses to take his desire seriously - because she is in thrill of her own passions for another man, one other than her husband.

The film received little press here in the United States...but it is a wonderful tale, with many layers of meaning. The director exhibits great attention to historical detail. The film shows that a wedding night was actually observed by the family of the pair, a custom to insure the virginity of the bride. Another historical item is that the battles are fought by men on different sides who wear no distinctive uniform. Obviously, that would make identifying your "enemy" more difficult.

Taken as a whole, it was one of my favorities in 2011.
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38 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Grady Harp HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 17, 2011
Format: Amazon Instant Video
Basing a long film on a short story is usually a risk; the story often runs thin before the long film is complete. This is most assuredly NOT the case in Bertrand Tavernier's decision to adapt (with François-Olivier Rousseau) the short story 'La Princesse de Montpensier' written by Marie de LaFayette (1634 - 1693) and published anonymously in 1662. Of note, La Fayette's most famous novel was 'La Princesse de Clèves' (1678), first published anonymously in March 1678. An immense success, the work is often taken to be the first true French novel and a prototype of the early psychological novel. This film is one that both entertains in the manner of the great epics of the screen, but also teaches us about the religious differences between the Catholic and the Huguenots (Prostestants) during the 16th century while at the same time addressing from a near feminist point of view the manners of courtly versus passionate love in that fascinating period.

Very briefly, Princesse Marie de Montpensier (Mélanie Thierry) is married to Prince Philippe de Montpensier (Grégoire Leprince-Ringuet) in a marriage of convenience arranged by Marie's father: the rare beauty of Marie attracts the attention of all men, a fact that drives Philippe to rages of unfounded jealousy. France is in the midst of religious war and Philippe is off at war with his tutor Comte de Chabannes (Lambert Wilson): after a particularly grueling battle in which Comte de Chabannes kills a pregnant woman and a child he informs Philippe that he can no longer stomach war and asks to return to the palace where he will continue being the tutor of Marie in Philippe's absence. Marie and Chabannes become close as he teaches her to read and write - during which time Chabannes secretly falls in love with Marie.
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Format: DVD
"The Princess of Montpensier" was adapted from the 1662 French novella written by Madame de La Fayette, widely regarded as a roman à clef. In order to hide the identities of her subjects, the author set the story during the Wars of Religion a century earlier. The story begins in 1567. François, Count of Chabannes (Lambert Wilson) has deserted the Huguenot cause because he can no longer tolerate the barbarity of war, leaving him banished by both sides of the conflict. He seeks and receives the protection of the Duke of Montpensier (Michel Vuillermoz), whose son Philippe, Prince of Montpensier (Grégoire Leprince-Ringuet) will keep him until the King's anger subsides.

It is arranged for Philippe to marry Marie de Mézières (Mélanie Thierry), a young woman with a sizable dowry who happens to be in love with a daring soldier and war hero, her cousin Henri, Duke of Guise (Gaspard Ulliel). On her mother's advice, Marie accepts the marriage and becomes the Princess of Montpensier. But Marie is a willful woman who delights in the attentions she receives from men. Henri seems still to desire her, and a new rival for her attention has forced himself into the picture: The King's brother, the Duke of Anjou (Raphaël Personnaz), likes to flatter Marie and incite her husband's jealousy as well, as the Wars rage on.

It's a soap opera that could have been shorter. Long conversations that are not strictly necessary for character or plot development slow the film down. But there is emotional substance. Philippe's jealousy and hurt feelings at his wife's flirtations are sympathetic. Marie is in an unenviable position, perhaps, if she loves a man whom she cannot have. But that is a common predicament, then and now.
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