Sunday, October 29, 2006

Film: La Reine Margot.

A beautiful and stunning film about Marguerite de Valois, daughter of Catherine de'Medici and wife of the King of Navarre, Henri de Bourbon. Isabelle Adjani stars alongside Jean-Hugues Anglade and Vincent Perez. The film is based on the book by Alexandre Dumas, and while it isn't necessarily historically accurate, it is a delight and a terror. Margot's love affair with La Môle begins only days before the infamous St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre of 1572, and they find themselves endangered by both their love and their stations in life. Adjani is almost too beautiful to stand, as usual; Perez is too, this time around (unlike what I thought of him in Indochine). But truly, I enjoyed this film for its unarguably French style--Dumas was a master, I am now discovering.

The romantic and historical blend enticingly, and I'm fascinated by what happened in France after this. Henri de Bourbon became King of France when Margot's brother, Henri III, died. The line of Bourbon kings were pretty much adored by the French, ruling from 1589 until the French Revolution in 1792, and even again briefly afterwards. It was a tradition to cut out the heart of a Bourbon king upon his death, and place it in a special coffer. Not until Louis XV did this stop, and most likely only then because he ended his reign known as le Bien-Hai, the Well-Hated.

La Reine Margot
directed by Patrice Chéreau, 1994

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