The Princess of Montpensier

Rated NR 139 minutes 2010

Bertrand Tavernier gives his version of France’s 16th-century Wars of Religion — Catholics vs. Huguenots — the precise combination of moral questioning, hot-blooded romance, drawing-room intrigue, and swashbuckling to make that era irresistible onscreen. Even though she’s married off by her family to an unexciting prince (Grégoire Leprince-Ringuet), the eponymous teenage princess (gorgeous Mélanie Thierry) is capable of attracting not only a rugged warrior duke (Gaspard Ulliel) but the king’s randy brother (Raphaël Personnaz) — all the while being watched over by her husband’s trusty lieutenant (Lambert Wilson). Director Tavernier (Beatrice, Daddy Nostalgia, Coup de Torchon) might have been content to ensconce the princess in a Coffee Table romance, but both Thierry and Wilson are given the latitude to lend their characters extra dimension — and they gleefully take it. Intelligent screenplay by Jean Cosmos, François-Olivier Rousseau, and Tavernier, adapted from the period novel by Madame de la Fayette (139 min.)

Film Credits

Director: Bertrand Tavernier

Cast: Mélanie Thierry, Lambert Wilson, Grégoire Leprince-Ringuet, Gaspard Ulliel, Raphaël Personnaz, Eric Rulliat, Samuel Theis, Michel Vuillermoz, Judith Chemla, Philippe Magnan, César Domboy and Jean-Pol Dubois

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