Farewell, My Queen Reviews
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Sidonie is a character who literally eavesdrops on history, becoming the audience's first-person yet second-hand source for such significant events as the storming of the Bastille...