Donate Now to Support KDHX

Listen Live
Friday, 10 August 2012 00:00

Versailles Shines in 'Farewell, My Queen'

mubi.com mubi.com
Written by Diane Carson
Rate this item
(0 votes)

About this Media...

Stories set behind the scenes of historical royalty offer intriguing promise as they pull back the privacy curtain. Farewell, My Queen teases with such tantalizing scenes beginning July 14, 1789 and ending July 17. Three and a half momentous days in Versailles unfold with the French Revolution as the backdrop.

July 14th starts with Sidonie, awaking with a jolt—she’s late for Queen Marie Antoinette. Sidonie serves as her reader, the young woman who carefully chooses novels, plays or fashion descriptions to read to her queen. Over the next several hours, Sidonie and the dozens of servants will hear rumors about the guillotine and the riots in Paris, learning that many of their names appear on the list of the condemned. True to the cliché, while Rome, or in this case Paris, burns, the aristocrats continue to fiddle—indulging their whims and living their hedonistic lives, some would say, indulging their petty inclinations as they’ve done for years. Meantime the servants devote a great deal of their time seeking knowledge about the calamity unfolding only a few miles away.

Anchored entirely in Sidonie’s perspective, Farewell, My Queen immerses the viewer in this tumultuous world, parceling out just enough information to keep everyone in suspense. The limited point of view creates a momentum for the three dangerous days with Sidonie sneaking around corners or racing through the cavernous hallways of Versailles. As Sidonie, Léa Seydoux maintains a wary, cautious presence with Diane Kruger as the epitome of royal excess, Noémie Lvovksky as a bold lady-in-waiting, and Virginie Ledoyen as the queen’s reported lover.

French director Benôit Jacquot doesn’t get on a soapbox, but he doesn’t shy from politics either, including sexist and class issues. Based on Chantal Thomas’ novel, Jacquot and Gilles Taurand adaptation keeps the historical backdrop vivid and specific without compromising personal crisis. Exquisite art direction enhances every scene from the luxurious costumes to the gorgeous rooms. In fact, cinematographer Romain Winding shot a lot of the film in Versailles, dramatizing the effects of candlelight and natural illumination. The bold ending surprises and perfectly completes the dialogue driven, superb Farewell, My Queen. In French with English subtitles. At a Landmark Theatre.

Sponsor Message

Become a Sponsor

Find KDHX Online

KDHX on Instagram
KDHX on YouTube
KDHX on SoundCloud
KDHX on Facebook
KDHX on Twitter
KDHX on flickr

KDHX Recommends

August
Saturday
29

Brunch at the Stage: Kip Loui and Brian Henneman

Chef bobEE Sweet of Black Bear Bakery fame serves up local, fresh, vegetarian friendly offerings every week with dishes like scrambled tofu, a variety of quiches, greens, salad, breakfast oats and pastries. The brunch menu is rounded...


September
Sunday
06

September
Thursday
10

KDHX Discovery Series: Alash Ensemble

ALASH are masters of Tuvan throat singing (xöömei), a remarkable technique for singing multiple pitches at the same time. What distinguishes this gifted trio from earlier generations of Tuvan throat singers is the subtle...


Get Answers!

If you have questions or need to contact KDHX, visit our answers portal at answers.kdhx.org.

Online Users

4 users and 12280 guests online
Sign in with Facebook

SYSTEM: S5 Box

Login/My Account

Sign in with Facebook