|the queen & her beloved|
the court is focused on attending to the indulgence of every physical and emotional whim of la reine, so focused that one sees how they could possibly not have realized what was imminently arriving at the gates of versailles. the film catches you up so completely in the minutia of the baubles and minor intrigues of the sex lives of the courtly entourage that one sees how the queen and her attendants became confused about what the most important concerns were on july 14th, 1789: the fact that the duchess de polignac was not as in love with the queen as the queen was with her, or the fact that both of their names appeared in the top three on the list of those who should be beheaded in the name of liberty.
on a sensory level, the movie is pure pleasure: great music, gorgeous shadow and light, the skin of beautiful women caressed lovingly and a little creepily by the hand-held camera. as the neo-realists put their cameras at eye-level, jacquot holds his at décolletage level. the ladies' oft heaving bosoms almost become characters in and of themselves
enjoy the girl on girl flirtations, the whispered french gossip, the tableaux layered against the giant poplars filmed on the grounds of versailles, the nightgowns and wigs, silk stockings and pewter dining ware. watch the queen enjoy them. watch the court enjoy her enjoyment of all things beautiful, sensuous, and decadent.
& maybe wonder, for just a second, if losing your head is a price worth paying for so much fun & drama.