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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Les adieux à la reine - Farewell, My Queen (2012)

Directed by Benoît Jacquot based on the novel by Chantal Thomas (set a few days before the famous July 14th 1789), this movie is a about the memoirs of the young reader to Marie Antoinette, Agathe-Sidonie Laborde. Although she lives among poor servitude and in precarious conditions, in contrast to the palace of Versailles, Sidonie gets up every morning excited to enter the fantasy world of Versailles and if she is lucky that day, she will see the Queen Marie Antoinette.

The film summarizes the book and omits details and some situations that could have contributed much to the movie. I feel the hour and a half the movie last could have been turned into a two hour movie and still that would not have been enough for me. The story is so interesting, apart from the interest that Marie Antoinette awakens in me ; I would have liked to see more interaction between the queen and Sidonie. The film leaves you with more desire to see them together (that is, interacting more). That was the main story of the movie, but we don’t see much of it.

It must be said that the acting and chemistry between Diane Kruger (Marie Antoinette) and Léa Seydoux (Agathe-Sidonie Laborde) is intense and deadly.
It made my hair stand on end and gave me shivers down my spine. Sidonie is silent about his admiration towards the queen but the moment she enters the queen's room and then sits down to read a book to her, we can feel the queen's sensuality and Sidone's desire for her filling up the room and exploding in our faces. It is a scene full of sensuality.

Sidone is totally captivated when the Queen of France takes care of her when she sees that Sidone has mosquito bites on his arm and she rubs rosewood to soothe her itching. This young girl was sure her majesty was noticing her.

Like in every royal house, Versailles has secrets and gossip. One of the gossips that resonate most is the very loving friendship between the Queen and Yolande Martine Gabrielle Polastron, better known as the Duchess of Polignac. Sidone doesn't want to believe that the rumors are true but we don't know if it's because she is offended by the slanders toward his queen or because she actually feels jealous. In a desperate act to the attention of the Queen, Sidonie lets him know that she will do anything to make her happy, that's when the queen can trust her and says she was captivated by the Duchess of Polignac and although the word love is not used, the movie hints that. The Queen's despair, is so strong that Sidonie needs to satisfy the whim of his queen.

The world of Versaille shakes when a list of  286 aristocrat names are publish ...the french people want their heads to roll. Many Aristocrats are escaping because they feel insecure and even Sidonie was warned by other employees, she must escape but she won’t leave his queen behind, his loyalty is with her. Sadly, in the end things don't go like Sidone's planed and she is the one who save an unexpected person.

Overall, this is a movie that I recommend. What if all of this was true? who knows? but we can always play with reality and fantasy. I wished the movie showed more of the Queen's relationship with the maids and Sidonie. Also, more of her friendship with the Duchess of Polignac. This movie deserved to last at least 2 hours!

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