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Princess of Montpensier

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Product Details

  • Actors: Melanie Thierry, Lambert Wilson, Gregoire Leprince-Ringuet
  • Directors: Bertrand Tavernier
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: French
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: MPI Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: October 11, 2011
  • Run Time: 140 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (85 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B005E7SEK2
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #102,809 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

The sweepingly romantic drama THE PRINCESS OF MONTPENSIER is the perfect showcase for actress Melanie Thierry (Babylon A.D., The Legend Of 1900), one of the most beautiful and accomplished young actresses in the world.  In this vivid film, she is the object of desire of four powerful men: the young prince who married her but is driven more by jealousy than lust, the battle-scarred beauty Henri De Guise (Gaspard Ulliel of Hannibal Rising and A Very Long Engagement) who must have her no matter the risk, the powerful Duc d Anjou, and her personal tutor (the soulful Lambert Wilson from Of Gods And Men) who is the only man that loves her truly. In the tradition of Dr. Zhivago, this film by director Bertrand Tavernier (Round Midnight) proves that indeed passion destroys everything.

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

53 of 55 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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