Farewell, My Queen, or Les adieux à la reine as it is originally called, is a pretty decent period piece. Yes it has subtitles but that is one of the elements that I liked about the film. Often a foreign language film gives the period even more authenticity which is true here. Set during the first few days of the French Revolution this one has a look, style, and pace worthy of an afternoon at the local art-house theater.
The story is based on the novel by Chantal Thomas and takes a look at the relationship between Marie Antoinette (Diane Kruger) and one of her “readers”, a young girl named Sidonie Laborde (Léa Seydoux). With a look at the events from both class systems the film gives an interesting perspective to those days in 1789 at the court of Versailles. Inside the walls everything looks so beautiful and refined. While outside the turmoil bubbles to the surface.
Understandably a few of you checked out at the word “subtitles”, but for those still intrigued there is much to like. I appreciated seeing Kruger doing this role. Most will know her from the NATIONAL TREASURE franchise but here she shows her dramatic chops and brings a solid skin to Antoinette. No argument that Marie Antoinette is one of the most fascinating women in history and Kruger gives her not only a romantic sentiment but a backbone to go with it.
The rest of the cast are foreign to most American audiences including Xavier Beauvois as Louis XVI and Virginie Ledoyen as Antoinette’s confidant Gabrielle de Polignac. They both add substance to the film though Kruger and Seydoux carry the brunt of the weight.
Farewell, My Queen is rated R for brief graphic nudity and language. There is certainly nothing vulgar, crude, or off-putting about the content. Still, it is an adult themed film and the certainly the pace and story line is for those adult enough to grasp it. In other words, those under 18 would be bored regardless. It is mainly in French with some German and Italian dialogue. It is a very agreeable film for those who have a slant for the period and the genre.
Review copyright 2012 Mungleshow Productions. Used by Permission.