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Jefferson In Paris 1995

PG-13 CC
3.3 out of 5 stars (65) IMDb 5.7/10

Chronicles the time that Thomas Jefferson spent as the American Ambassador to France (1784-1789). These were significant years for him in his public and personal life, and fateful ones for France, where the revolution was about to break out.

Starring:
Nick Nolte, Gwyneth Paltrow
Runtime:
2 hours, 19 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Drama, Romance
Director James Ivory
Starring Nick Nolte, Gwyneth Paltrow
Supporting actors Estelle Eonnet, Thandie Newton, Seth Gilliam, Todd Boyce, Nigel Whitmey, Nicolas Silberg, Catherine Samie, Lionel Robert, Stanislas Carré de Malberg, Jean Rupert, Yvette Petit, Paolo Mantini, Frédéric van den Driessche, Humbert Balsan, Nichel Rois, Bob Sessions, Jeffrey Ribier, Marc Tissot
Studio Touchstone Pictures
MPAA rating PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By L. Oben on September 12, 2004
Format: DVD
Just finished watching Jefferson in Paris again for what seems like the upmteenth time and am amazed by how much more I undertood the movie this time around, and how much of its many nuancies I'd missed, or simply forgotten, from previous viewings. For example, the almost competitive nature of the relationship between the perpetually sickly and sullen looking Martha "Patsy", Jefferson's daughter and the enigmatic Mrs. Conway, played by the incomparable Greta Sacchi; Mr. Conway's inexplicable jealousy at the blossoming relationship between his wife and Jefferson, even in spite of his flagrant homosexuality (addressed in a sublte, yet clear fashion, another example of this film's classiness), and much more.

From the beautifully hypnotic and classical soundtrack (an escapists dream), to the movie's scenery and wardrobe that encapsulates the European decadence of the period, this movie is one of my all time favorites.

There is so much more to praise about this film: for starters, the historical accuracy of the portrayal of the events of France in that period, the director's ability to entertwine both the historical events of the time with a little poetic justice to fill in those gaps which history books have oft left unfilled (such as Jefferson's relationship with Sally Hemmings played with such nymph-like and utterly stunning talent by the amazing Thandie Newton), and much more.

Nick Nolte is perfect in his role as Jefferson, and lends a keen sensitivity (not to mention sexiness!
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Format: DVD
Although some people may find this film boring, it may not be their type of film. For anyone who wants to see a film about one of our most fascinating Founding Fathers, this is the film to watch and own. Its my favorite film about any of the presidents and I wish they would make more of them. I especially loved the actress who played Marie Antoinette. She embodied exactly how I pictured Marie Antoinette to look and act when I only read about her. The same goes for Lambert Wilson, who played the Marquis de Lafayette...exactly as I had imagined him. My favorite performance though, goes to Thandi Newton as Sally Hemmings. Seeing her in this film when it first came out made me take notice of her and follow her career with interest. What I love most about this film is the glimpse it gives viewers of life during the pre-revolutionary period in France, and shows the absurdities of ritualized Court life and why the people demanded change. King Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette were simply out of touch with ordinary people, and our Ambassador to France Thomas Jefferson was a first hand witness to it all. The film ends too abruptly for me. I would have liked a greater resolution than that...but since films like these are rare, and I wish that Hollywood made more films about our Founding Fathers, I can't complain with what this film accomplishes. Its certainly a lot better than the made for TV, "Sally Hemings" mini-series.
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Format: VHS Tape
If this movie doesn't get you to thinking about the conflicts of our society and how different people confront them, then the movie would fail! It doesn't,though.Jefferson is a man at odds with himself.What he believes versus what he actually does remains for all the world to see.Monticellian life was an undiscussed secret.Jefferson loved French society and yet loathed an aristocracy.Jefferson was an enigma and Nick Nolte plays the part to an absolute tee!The more I have watched this film the more I could never see anyone else playing Jefferson but him.The story line is quite engaging and Thandie Newton,Greta Scacchi and Gwyneth Paltrow are at their very best as supporting cast.The soundtrack is wonderful for the lover of Baroque music.This is an artistic film and has great appeal to those with an artist's sensibilities.
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Format: DVD
Jefferson in Paris didn't have the feel of a Merchant-Ivory production. Perhaps I was used to seeing the work of these two master craftsmen set in Edwardian drawing rooms instead of the parlors of late-Bourbon France, but nevertheless I was left feeling that this was a lightweight film that wimped out entirely in the Sally Hemings segment of the story, erroneously given central billing here alongside another relationship Jefferson, acting as his nation's envoy to the French court, undertook with a married Englishwoman, Madam Cosway. There was so much more that could have been focused on in the story of Jefferson's 1780's stay in Europe, so why this film went in the directions it did makes little sense. Also Nick Nolte was simply unconvincing and unwelcoming as Jefferson, even if there was a boldness to a filmmaker finally allowing him to speak with the Virginia drawl it has been noted he possessed. A bored and boring Gwyneth Paltrow was even more miscast as Patsy, the future President's daughter, and all in all by the halfway mark I was disenchanted with the entire movie. When Jefferson in Paris was over, I was stunned that we had been spoon-fed such a weak, watered down hack-job of a film. How anyone could mistake for a masterpiece this story of one of the great men of the Age of Reason defies, well, reason.
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