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  • La Marquise (Sophie Marceau), an French actress of the 17th century, is another attempt to make a French movie about the times of Louis XIV. The period is well depicted and the Court of the King is brought into images as it must have been at that time I imagine. Special is the scene where King Louis XIV (Thierry Lhermitte) goes publicly into the fountains of Versailles - the first and only time that he took a bath - and he is accompanied after some hesitation by La Marquise. We see also the struggles around the throne with Molière (Bernard Giraudeau) and Racine (Lambert Wilson) who have La Marquise as there mistress, and the architect of the gardens Le Nôtre and the composer Lully (Remo Girone). King Louis is in this movie a young patron of the arts who encourages Molière while writing "Tartuffe" or Racine writing "Andromaque".
  • Warning: Spoilers
    We've been here before, of course; Versailles, Sun King, decadence versus squalor, etc but having said that this is a painless way to expand - if you're not French - your knowledge of the era in which Comedy Francaise was born. Though that isn't really touched on here two of the principal characters are Moliere and Racine and they are linked economically by sharing the eponymous Marquise (Sophie Marceau) as a mistress - in this case Marquise is a Christian name rather than a title. Thierry Thermitte weighs in as a competent if unlikely Sun King and fellow Splendid alumnus Anemone is also on hand as what might be called Toxic Adviser. Vera Belmont handles a large cast well and has an eye for visuals. On balance an enjoyable romp.
  • cassandramunro3 December 2001
    It is so nice to see a person encouraged to follow her dream - despite opposition from others, and despite having to overcome her own fears at times. The ending is sad but it fits with the film's whole tragic theme, and works well as the play-within-a-play. Excellent performances by Marceau and Giraudeau (as Moliere). Excellent insight into the lives of travelling players, and Louis XIV's era.
  • Mharek1 December 1998
    "Marquise" is refreshing since it's one of the rare history movie that isn't done from a celebrity point of view like Molière, Racine, Corneille, La Reine Margot, François 1er, Columbus, etc. The marquise isn't a well-known character of the History but she does lives among the nobles. This makes her experience of the rich world more interesting since she always has to fight to stay in it and maintain her popularity. Truly, a must for history and culture fans.
  • ......A Quelques Traits Un Peu Vieux

    Souvenez-Vous Qu'à Mon Age

    Vous ne Vaudrez Guère Mieux

    (Marquise,If My Face is an old man's one/Remember when you get old,you won't look any better)

    A poem written by an aging Corneille for Marquise -which is a first name ,not a title- which would never come true cause MARQUISE died young.

    Generally I 'm not a fan of Sophie Marceau but she's acceptable here,particularly when she dances .She gets strong support from Bernard Giraudeau as Molière,Lambert Wilson as Racine,Anemone as "la Voisin" (the poison expert) and even Thierry Lhermitte as the king.

    Vera Belmont successfully recreates the GRand Siècle when the Sun king used to reign: from the muddy filthy streets to the luxury of Versailles and Vaux-le-Vicomte where the nobles hide their grime behind an outrageous make up.

    Some lines are very funny but you have got to have some knowledge of classic French literature so you can appreciate such witty words as "let's say "Tartuffe" takes place in England or among that infamous Protestant reformed religion!"Belmont also draws an interesting parallel between Racine's "Andromaque" and the young widow Marquise .

    Best scene: Duparc's burial at night,for at the time thespians were excommunicated .Giraudeau's lines goes straight to the heart.There is a similar scene in Abel Gance's "Le Capitaine Fracasse" .That director was certainly a major influence on Belmont:like him,her characters often use lines of poetry.
  • The film is a very good story I like the cast, principally Bernard Giraudeau, Patrick Timsit, Thierry Lhermitte and the muse Sophie Marceau who in that time was the most beautiful actress of the cinema of all universe!! It is my opinion about her. Sophie shines in all takes, every angle and in each glance. She gets reach her apex when she is dancing... Marceau is the star of the movie but the writers are good, they were precise with the scenery, wrote interesting dialogs and could figure on a good cast. Direction well-made by Vera Belmont. I just thing about the end of the film was not so good, they would get more tension in the last scene, my impression it was made on the run...But anyway, I like very much this film!
  • I guess that we in this century about to end have learned to live better than in Marquise's century. As with other French films of this type, the result captures the decadence of the age and the director has painted a gorgeous picture of the period. One critic said that she saw no point to the story...there definitely was one and it was made in America...."All About Eve" so it just goes to show that there isn't a lot that is new....still the movie was really worth a look for no one can make them like the French....unless you are an Italian.
  • Full of "cultural one-liners" like this, probably more common back then, in those times rules by language, than nowadays', this film is both for history and luxury buff as for those interested in social and class distinctions, the poor role of artists in the royal court, etc.

    "Mharek" from Montréal writes: "one of the rare history movie that isn't done from a celebrity point of view".

    This film is obviously a feast for Sophie Marceau lovers. We learn she dances quite well, for instance. Female director Véra Belmont drools on her figure as much as on royalty's excesses. As the Brazilian reviewers aptly puts it: "Sophie shines in all takes". But unlike later films starred by her like "L'âge de raison", in this film the plot is good, photography and music are superb, so you get carried away by the action, not just her looks.

    Of course a stellar cast helps: the superb Bernard Giraudeau, a likable Patrick Timsit, a royally hateable Thierry Lhermitte, heartthrob Lambert Wilson, beautiful Marianne Basler and Polish rising star "Estelle Skornik".

    Jordi Savalls performs the best period piece you could imagine. You get to see Versailles and Vaux-le-Vicomte in a new light, not as easy at it seems. There are some moving & emotional scenes, it's not only a "postcard movie" technically speaking.

    As the NZ IMMB reviewer writes: "no one can make them like the French....". Showing both the grandeur and decadence, as the scholarly reviewer "dbdumonteil" writes on this site. side by side, as in real life, the French know what they're talking about when they do films about kings.

    My favourite scenes have to do with water: the "public bath" of the Sun King and Marquise, and her dancing while it starts to rain in the beginning, shot like a TV publicity but effective.

    Maybe a tad too long, and the ending may disappoint, but absolutely worthy watching!

    PS: Some reviewers and plot summaries on this site do suggest the ending, so, dear reader, you're friendly warned :) .
  • The first virtue is the performance , beautiful at whole, of Bernard Girodeau as Moliere. He gives the playwriter so well known by his admirers. The second, off course, Sophie Marceau . And, sure, the tension , familiar in its traits for the fans of French historical drama. A film about theater, love and rivalry, giving slices from Moliere and Racine, proposing the embroidery of rising and fall of an actress . So, just beautiful.
  • jotix10024 April 2012
    Warning: Spoilers
    This French drama was shown recently on an international cable channel. We had not seen the film, as it appears it did not get an audience in this country, disappearing quickly from theaters. This project owes a lot to its creator Vera Belmont, who obviously identified herself with the period in which the action takes place, France in the last days of King Louis XIV, also known as the Sun King. The production takes advantage of the locales in which the story is supposed to have occurred.

    We are presented with an ambitious young woman, Marquise, who is made to be a prostitute by her own father! Moliere and his wandering troupe discovers the beautiful woman, who catches the eye of the actor playing the buffoon roles, Gros-Rene, who goes on to marry her. Marquise had a talent for dance and the theater, but judging by her shaky star, no one would have predicted she would become the great interpreter of texts by Racine and Moliere and along the way attracted the attention of King Louis, an admirer.

    This film was obviously a vehicle for Sophie Marceau. Not being a fan of this actress, we approached "Marquise" with a degree of apprehension but we should not have been. An inspired Sophie Marceau gives life to the production in unexpected ways. She is surrounded by some French heavy hitters. Bernard Giraudeau, Thierry Lhermitte, Lambert Wilson, and his father, Georges, Anemone, and a controlled Patrick Timsit, who does not go overboard with his Gros-Rene.

    Jean-Marie Dreujou catches the beauty of Versailles in all its splendor, as well as the other locales. The music of Jean-Baptiste Lully is interpreted by Jordi Savall, the Spanish genius who has a tremendous affinity for the music of that period of history and who proved himself worthy of the praise with the work of another composer, Martin Marais, with his contribution in "Tous les matins du monde". Credit must go to the magnificent costumes created for the movie. The art direction is by Gianni Quaranta.
  • asophie7 August 1998
    I wasn't interested in the story, mainly because I didn't see the point. Sophie Marceau is the only bright sight in the movie.