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  • amylil30 August 2004
    I've been a big fan of Giancarlo Giannini ever since I first saw him in the original "Swept Away" (a movie Madonna later murdered). He is quite possibly one of the greatest actors Italy has produced in the last 50 years. In this movie, he plays the very gentle last King of the Two Sicilies, who seems resigned to his exile. His wife, played by one of the most beautiful women I've ever seen, is not so content, and devotes a lot of her time to forming plots to get them back on their former throne. Running in the background to the main story, are their obsessions with the heir that was never born, a political mistake, according to her, while he's convinced it's haunting him.

    It plays a little like a period movie, but has more heart and character than most, and sometimes feels like we're getting an intimate look at these historical people in a soap opera kind of way. All in all, a great movie for those who love period movies, Italian history, or a great story.
  • This film is excellent. It possesses great values of production, fantastic costumes, great exteriors, exquisite music and for fans of legendary actors and actresses the leading roles are played by Giancarlo Giannini (as Francesco II of Bourbon king of the Two Sicilies) and Ornella Muti (as the queen Maria Sophia of Austria). It's not mandatory being an expert of Italian history of the nineteenth century in order to understand the drama. The king has been deposed and he is despondent, immersed in the reverie of his past, surrounded in his quarters by images and statuettes that constitute the center of his superstitious veneration. The queen is beautiful and vibrant. She is working actively for the restoration of her husband and above all things, she wants to give him an heir. He is absentminded and resigned to live without the throne, he refuses to have the intercourse with his wife and the tension between the two characters scales up. ¿Will the queen commit adultery to fulfill her goal of giving an heir to the kingdom that will have to be reconquered at the cost of a bloody war of brothers versus brothers ? There is no battles showed in the film but instead we see the backstage of that combats. The psychological struggles of those who must take a course of action, their loyalties, betrayals and old grudges that frequently end up in violent death. Giancarlo Gianinni is absolutely perfect in his role, he is an absolute master of his art and Ornella Muti is, like always, loved by the camera, and she can act too! The only regret is that this movie is very rare, it's practically unknown outside of Italy. I hope that this situation changes in the near future.