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Farewell, My Queen Les Adieux à la reine

Benoît Jacquot / France, Spain / 2012 / 100 min

The visually luxuriant costume drama captures the passions, debauchery, occasional glimpses of nobility and ultimately the chaos that engulfed the court of Marie Antoinette in the final days before the full-scale outbreak of the Revolution.

July 1789. At the dawn of the French Revolution, as turmoil brews in Paris, Versailles carries on, careless and unworried, as if isolated from the rest of the world. Entirely devoted Sidonie Laborde, the Queen’s young reader, takes full advantage of the intimate moments which tie her to Marie Antoinette, whom she admires so much. Sidonie is unaware that she is about to live out the last three days she’ll ever have at her mistress’ side, in the Versailles of pomp, extravagance, games of leisure and luxury.

»It is as if, in the center of the picture, the queen bee starts, for whatever reason, to upset the equilibrium and her agitation spreads throughout the hive. The accelerated events over these four days show all the different phases Marie Antoinette went through in her life – the period of innocence, then of frivolity, then near debauchery ending with a period of great decorum. They are all mixed together. Without warning, she moves from extreme frivolity to a state of incredible lucidity, to great despondency, like the weather.« (Benoît Jacquot)

Benoît Jacquot
Born in 1947 in Paris. He began his career as assistant director to various filmmakers, and turned to writing and directing with the 1975 film The Musician Killer, which starred Anna Karina. Throughout his career, he has made nearly thirty films. In 2003, he directed Massenet's opera Werther at the Royal Opera House. Farewell, My Queen opened this year’s Berlin International Film Festival.

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