PFS Film Review
The Princess of Montpensier


 

The Princess of MontpensierIn 1567, there was an ongoing civil war in France. Government forces were suppressing the Protestants (Huguenots), even going from door to door in a manner resembling the persecution of the Jews in Nazi Germany. Marriage within the aristocracy is controlled by parents to advance themselves so that they may enjoy greater favor with the king. Thus it is that the colorless Prince Philippe Montpensier (played by Grégoire Leprince-Rinquet) marries the beautiful Marie Mezières, and they settle in a chateau far from the battlefield. But the Princess (played by Mélanie Thierry), who is deeply in love with her boyhood sweetheart, the Duke Henri de Guise (played by Garpard Ulliel), pretends otherwise after her marriage. One day the Prince is called to war. He entrusts the Princess's education to his mentor, the Count Chabannes (played by Lambert Wilson), who falls in love with her, albeit platonically. Later, she is presented to the court in Paris, where King Henry III's brother, the Duke of Anjou (played by Raphaël Personnaz), also has a crush on the Princess. Based on the novella by Madame de Lafayette, the Prince is not amused by his wife, who smiles at others but not at him, as she struggles between passion and reason. The Princess of Montpensier, directed by Bertrand Tavernier, is a classic romantic tale that reveals the customs of the era along with court intrigue. Filming locations include four chateaux and a palace. MH

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