The action moves from the sumptuous religious drama of Notre-Dame where an unwilling Margot is forced into marriage with her Protestant cousin, Henri; to the filthy streets of Paris, where numerous Protestants crowd the steet and Margot picks an anonymous stranger as her lover. Sewers, secret rooms, grubby streets and abandoned chateau juxtapose next to palaces, cathedrals and throne rooms. Passionate lovemaking scenes between Margot and La Mole contrast with the horrendous brutality of the Massacre and numerous secret assassinations. Artistic metaphor is rich throughout the movie, as well. Margot is married in red, but ends the film in a bride-white dress that is stained in blood.
The story - grotesque, mesmerising and violent - is based on real events; and, although not entirely accurate, it is the finest film to date on the horrific events of St. Bartholomew's Eve, 1572 and on the ultimate fall of the Valois dynasty.
The direction, the acting, the music, the scenery, the costume - everything about "La Reine Margot" is 5 stars!
As for the gore in the film, it deals with a massacre that claimed the lives of 6000 people, so a level of gore is only to be expected.
This film is wonderful. It won the Jury Prize at the 1994 Cannes Film Festival and deservedly so. The acting is superb, winning the best actress award at cannes for Virna Lisi and an unprecedented fourth cesar award for Isabelle Adjani. The sets and costumes are impeccable. The direction is excellent and the dialogue almost poetic. I can't imagine why anyone would be dissapointed by this film. Dumas has never been done better.
It's also surprisingly accurate (especially when compared to Hollywood films), although the serious historian will notice some changes to the facts (but when the film's this good who cares?!).
One thing I'm sick of are the frequent comparisons between La Reine Margot and the infinitely inferior British film 'Elizabeth', which was not only laughably innacurate but completely over-the-top (and at times blatantly copied La Reine Margot! Patrice Chereau should sue!). This is a far more interesting and accomplished film than Elizabeth, and quite possibly my overall favourite. Anyone that doesn't like it has something wrong with them.
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