Film Review: ‘One Nation, One King’

  • Variety
Film Review: ‘One Nation, One King’
It’s impossible to imagine a more ploddingly old-fashioned account of the French Revolution than “One Nation, One King,” a film desperate to capture the atmosphere of the time yet unable to operate outside the most formulaic depiction of momentous incidents. Trapped between a history buff’s slavish desire to be true to events and a generic sense of how to make those events “cinematic,” director-writer Pierre Schoeller (“The Minister”) seems uncertain whether he wants to deliver a history lesson or a “Les Mis”-like musical, winding up with a stultifying two-hour epic more appealing to lazy high school teachers instead of cinema audiences seeking either entertainment or intellectual engagement. French box office was dismal following an autumn release, racking up a mere $2.5 million for a feature that reportedly cost around $19 million.

Perhaps Schoeller got too caught up in the excitement of his subject, understandably overwhelmed by the scope of
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