Two nights ago Dianne and I went to a screening of the French filmÂ La princesse de Montpensier at the Aero Theatre in Santa Monica. I had to endure a three-hour commute from Orange County (yay for LA traffic!) to make it to the theater, but despite the arduous trek the movie was well worth the drive. The film is based on the short story written by Madame de La Fayette back in 1662 and was adapted to the screen by FranÃ§ois-Olivier Rousseau, Jean Cosmos, and director Bertrand Tavernier.
The story focuses on a young woman, Marie (MÃ©lanie Thierry), who is forced to marry Philipe de Montpensier (GrÃ©goire Leprince-Ringuet), but is still in love with Henri de Guise (Gaspard Ulliel). Marie is intelligent and stubborn, but sincere with her actions and feelings. At times she is a victim of her own naivetÃ© and beauty because of its effect on men and the jealousy it arouses in her husband. Throughout the film you see Marieâ€™s struggle between accepting her duties in society, to her husband, and following her love for Henri. The story takes place during the Wars of Religion and Tavernierâ€™s depiction of battle is refreshing in that it does not romanticize war, but in fact shows its most brutal and horrid aspects.
A character that stood out is the noble and war weary Comte de Chabannes (Lambert Wilson) who had seemingly lost all hope in life until becoming friends with Marie. The relationship between the two characters is earnest and sweet and one of the more hopeful parts of the story. The stunning cinematography and realistic sets truly make you feel as if you are in France during the 17th century, and the story depicts the sometimes cruel nature of marriage, love, Â and society at that time.
Click the link for the Q & A summary and pictures of the DG girls with Gaspard!