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Corbiau repeats the Farinelli formula, artistic rivalry and social private drama expressed in dazzling, sometimes excessively lavish baroque scenery, music and costume, but this time in its... See full summary »
Sumptuous and Sympathetic Portrayal of Sun King's Mistress
A lavish production depicting the rags to riches story of Francoise d'Aubigne, born of noble but poor parents, raised by relatives, and who married the poet, wit and cripple, Scarron. Left a widow, she is introduced through aristocratic friends to Louis XIV's mistress, the Marquise de Montespan, and becomes the governess of their children. For her loyal and discreet service the King made her Marquise de Maintenon. Ultimately she became the monarch's intimate companion (or wife, as shown here) for 32 years and died in 1719 at the school for poor noble girls she founded at Saint-Cyr. The film richly recreates the look and feel of life at the Sun King's court, and features magnificent interiors, as well as parks and gardens, of the time (including Versailles). The dialog is a model of classic French, combining formality, elegance and style. The quality of the language cannot be translated into English; and if it were, it would not sound "natural" to an English-speaking audience. Highly recommended; but best enjoyed by French speakers!
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