The Marquis Of O  [DVD]
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This Cannes Grand Prix-winning film was a major departure for the great French director Eric Rohmer, who temporarily abandoned his usual studies of lovelorn and philosophically inclined compatriots in favour of a German-language costume adaptation of a novel by Goethe s contemporary Heinrich von Kleist. Visually ravishing (it was inspired by 18th-century painting, and the cinematographer is the great Nestor Almendros, who works wonders with candle-light), it tells the story of a widowed noblewoman (Edith Clever) who inadvertently finds herself pregnant two years after her husband s death, a situation guaranteed to inflame the prejudices of the era (not least those of her family) especially since she genuinely doesn t know who the father is, and has to place a newspaper advertisement inviting him to come forward. Bruno Ganz (Wings of Desire, Downfall) is the charming Russian count who seems to know more about the marquise s predicament than she herself does.
A fascinating and sympathetic portrait of an abused woman is given life and depth by Rohmer's eloquent direction. --Film4.com
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Top Customer Reviews
The main character is the beautiful marquise of O (Edith Clever), a young French woman that lives with her parents and her two daughters, leading a virtous life after the death of her husband. During the late nineteenth century Franco-Prussian war, the marquise is saved from rape by a handsome Russian count (Bruno Ganz). Overwrought by the incident, the marquise is given a potion to sleep. The following day she wants to thank the count, but is informed that he has left with the Russian troops.
The marquise of O goes on with her life, until two extremely unusual things happen. First, the count returns to her life, wanting to marry her immediately. Secondly, the marquise discovers that she is pregnant, and is immediately banished from her parents' house. But how did that happen, if the marquise swears that she has remained chaste after the death of her husband?
All in all, I can say that this movie is interesting, capable of entertaining but also of making you reflect on temptation, standards of propriety, and what is right and wrong. Moreover, the cinematography is so good that the spectator starts to believe that he is indeed watching something that happened a long time ago. Even though this is far from being my favourite Rohmer film, it is more than good enough to recommend, and that is the reason why I give it 3.5 stars.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I think this is the worst film I have ever see. The colour was appalling, the acting atrocious, altogether a big "NO".Published 9 months ago by Jill Tinsley
I saw this movie at a foreign film festival as a freshman. It was the first time I had seen a movie from overseas except the children's film festival with Kukla, Fran and Ollie. Read morePublished on 30 July 2011 by Janster