Farewell, My Queen was shot in Versailles, but its flat schematism only highlights that the backdrops had a better story to tell.
Owen Gleiberman - Entertainment Weekly
Benoit Jacquot's tense, absorbing, pleasurably original look at three days in the life and lies of a doomed monarch ...
Manohla Dargis - New York Times
Deftly captures the sense of impending revolution from within the mirrored halls of Versailles.
Claudia Puig - USA Today
The foreboding and chaos contrast neatly with the lavish costumes and sets.
Stephanie Merry - Washington Post
The guillotine's blade is, as yet, nowhere to be heard. But you can feel Jacquot's pleasure is slicing and dicing this material in novel ways.
Mark Feeney - Boston Globe
The pleasure of Jacquot's film is in watching various strains of discreet, heated, and deluded passionate attachment performed.
Melissa Anderson - Village Voice
Think of it as eating a rather rich piece of cake - even if the real Marie Antoinette never actually did suggest anything of the kind.
Elizabeth Weitzman - New York Daily News
It's a strangely unsatisfying combination of bloodless observations and unresolved sexuality. But Diane Kruger's queen, a mature beauty mourning the loss of her youth, is a vivid portrait of willfulness, childishness and genuine neediness.
Joe Morgenstern - Wall Street Journal
Jacquot gazes avidly at this closed-in world of women; if his camera pressed any closer to them, it would be subcutaneous.
Richard Brody - New Yorker
Benoit Jacquot's engrossing film tells a story we know well, seen from a point of view we may not have considered.
Roger Ebert - Chicago Sun-Times
Jacquot takes a refreshingly understated approach to costume drama, avoiding historical generalizations to focus on the particulars of palace life and the psychological states of individual characters.
Ben Sachs - Chicago Reader
Although it was shot at Versailles, and its actors are dressed to the 18th-century nines, Farewell, My Queen has a loose, reportorial intimacy about it.
Steven Rea - Philadelphia Inquirer
As we follow her through the monarchy's abrupt collapse, "Farewell, My Queen" gives us intimate, unflaggingly energetic history as seen from the servants' quarters.
Colin Covert - Minneapolis Star Tribune
A well-observed but emotionally muted costume drama.
Justin Chang - Variety
Jacquot's lavish decor and costumes are like the perfume the women use instead of bathing: They may cover up the willful carelessness at the center of the project, but it's still there.
Kyle Smith - New York Post
Jacquot has chosen wisely in casting Lea Seydoux in the key role of Sidonie, whose luminous but watchful eyes suggest a soul wise beyond her years.
Bruce Demara - Toronto Star
Historical drama set in the early days of the French revolution is intelligent Euro eye candy at its most lavish.
Deborah Young - Hollywood Reporter
Matching the strength of these actresses and their personal drama is the film's masterful sense of time and place - the way it makes us feel that this was how it was during four pivotal days in July 1789 as the wheels came off the French monarchy.
Kenneth Turan - Los Angeles Times
- Miami Herald
Mark Jenkins - NPR.org
Jeffrey M. Anderson - Combustible Celluloid
The complex triangle at the dark heart of his film, set against the surging social change of a nation, makes for both a superb historical epic and a compelling human drama.
Simon Foster - sbs.com.au
The film shows both sides of the social spectrum within the court akin to "Upstairs, Downstairs" and "Downton Abbey," but with bloodthirsty rabble at the door.
Robin Clifford - Reeling Reviews
Jacquot masterfully gets across the politics, jealousies and jockeying of court life...and Romain Winding has achieved the beautiful look of natural lighting in lush interiors and shadowy corridors with the director's first foray into digital filmmaking.
Laura Clifford - Reeling Reviews
By the time Seydoux realizes what's in store for her and her queen, we're almost as surprised as she is.
Michael Nordine - Willamette Week
History doesn't let us feel much sympathy for Marie Antoinette. But "Farewell, My Queen" almost has us rooting for her and those who love her by its finale.
Roger Moore - McClatchy-Tribune News Service
An urgent look at the fall of Versailles
Robert Denerstein - Movie Habit
It was a very pleasant surprise to find that this was far from your average Marie Antoinette biopic.
Ken Hanke - Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
As a portrait of a world ending, it's frequently compelling stuff.
Chris Foran - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
At 99 minutes, "Farewell My Queen" provides a glimpse into the early stages of the French Revolution, told from the perspective of those who mostly lost their heads because they were too blind to see beyond their own wants and needs.
Bob Bloom - Journal and Courier (Lafayette, IN)
Beniot Jacquot [...] compliments immersive storytelling with a cast full of painstakingly authentic performances.
Chris Stuckmann - Moviedex
The period detail is exquisite, and the motivations and emotions of the characters need no translation for the modern viewer.
Sarah Boslaugh - PopMatters
"Farewell, My Queen" is a layer cake of royal pleasures, rote protocols and revolutionary politics. For skeptics who thought this story had grown stale, let them eat their words.
Joe Williams - St. Louis Post-Dispatch
The details of the plot are unimportant: that is the main point made by the skillful director, Benoit Jacquot. It is the slowness with which they realize what is happening that fascinates.
Stanley Kauffmann - The New Republic
The movie ultimately has something potent to say about the ways ordinary people, caught up in history's waves, can either drown or surf.
Marc Mohan - Oregonian
Filmmaker Jacquot has always had a knack for directing actresses, and both Seydoux and Kruger luxuriate in the end-of-an-era-ness.
Kelly Vance - East Bay Express
Psychologically knotty and bracingly immediate... Lea Seydoux is riveting.
Nathaniel Rogers - Film Experience
The film boasts Vermeer-like interiors lit by candle or firelight glowingly reflected in gilt-adorned paneling and screens, and in one memorable shot, the gleaming skin of a nude sleeping Gabrielle.
James Verniere - Boston Herald
As drama it offers a fascinating portrait of the Ancien Regime decaying in the face of new 'Enlightened' thinking.
Frank Swietek - One Guy's Opinion
If you have a thing for French royalty, this is an intriguing new take.
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul) - St. Paul Pioneer Press
"Farewell, My Queen" is worth a look simply for its look.
Moira MacDonald - Seattle Times
We know what will happen, of course, but Jacquot still manages to create tension, as well as a semi-soap opera, among the let-them-cake-eaters of post-Enlightenment France.
John Anderson - Newsday
Jacquot subtly shifts the movie's force and moral inquiry towards Seydoux, and her alert performance provides a melancholy humanity.
Patrick Z. McGavin - Boston Phoenix
With attractively costumed actors and a no-expenses-spared approach, the movie is the closest we'll get to experiencing Versailles alongside the queen.
Robert Levin - amNewYork
Notions of sexual politics, social ambition and ordinary folks transformed by attire and a title remains relevant in any era.
Matt Pais - RedEye
An opulent imagining of Marie Antoinette's last days.
Brandon Judell - CultureCatch
The performances from all three leads are dynamic, and the visual re-creation of the period is stylish.
Todd Jorgenson - Cinemalogue.com
Sexy, refreshing, well-acted and consistently compelling. It offers much more to offer than just beautiful set and costume design.
Avi Offer - NYC Movie Guru
Unfolds with urgency. Its intense focus is on events of given moments, rather than events of history.
Jeffrey M. Anderson - San Francisco Examiner
Just in time for Bastille Day! -- this is a nice corrective to the new-wave madness of Sofia Coppola's "Marie Antoinette."
Stephen Whitty - Newark Star-Ledger
Gripping, mature account of Marie Antoinette.
S. Jhoanna Robledo - Common Sense Media
This movie blows away the dust of history to present a vivid, richly detailed account of life in the cocoon of the royal palace of the ancient regime before the Revolution.
Kirk Honeycutt - honeycuttshollywood.com
Farewell, My Queen has some routine period-drama moments, but at its boldest it foretells a time when a single girl can be a free woman.
Mark Jenkins - NPR
There is indeed debauchery, betrayal, power-plays and tragedy as befitting the historical events, but the movie unfurls in a quiet, low-key manner.
Staci Layne Wilson - Yahoo! Movies
The experience of watching it is something like lounging on a satin divan, being fanned lazily with a bouquet of ostrich plumes.
Stephanie Zacharek - Movieline
It stays on the surface, but at least that surface is gorgeous.
Scott Tobias - AV Club
An impossibly lavish historical tapestry comes to breathtakingly vivid life in Benoit Jacquot's ultra-intimate account of the most famous French queen of them all.
David Noh - Film Journal International
... a moody, elegant and perceptive film that presents a three-dimensional King and Queen mired in a tornado of their own creation.
Michael Wade Simpson - culturevulture.net
Jacquot ... turns his audience into Peeping Toms, limiting our views of Her Majesty and her entourage in accordance with where Sidonie happens to be at a given moment.
Keith Uhlich - Time Out New York
Control is the operative element in Benoit Jacquot's work, with the main caveat being that when someone has it, someone else does not.
Jesse Cataldo - Slant Magazine
[VIDEO ESSAY] Marie Antoinette takes on the facade of lesbian-rebel-savant in Benoit Jacquot's nuanced cinematic rendition of Chantal Thomas's novel.
Cole Smithey - ColeSmithey.com
A costume drama well acted but marred by hazy film quality.
Harvey S. Karten - Compuserve
Jacquot injects a welcome shot of immediacy into the costume drama proceedings with an off-center vantage point and dynamic camerawork.
Jon Frosch - The Atlantic
An exquisite French costume drama about the early days of the French revolution and a servant girl at Versailles who sees it all.
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat - Spirituality and Practice
What's really magical about Farewell, My Queen is that it gives the audience something to do other than stare at the scenery. It's thrilling. A rare example of something antique feeling genuinely brand new.
Cole Abaius - Film School Rejects
This is a solid, sometimes provocative piece, although substantially more old school than the knowingly hip revisionism of Sofia Coppola's Marie Antoinette.
Jonathan Romney - Screen International