11 January 2021 | clanciai
Stunning and elaborately sumptuous reconstruction of the most scandalous affair in French royal history
Viviane Romance is of course the star here who sustains the entire picture and who succeeds in even outshining queen Marie Antoinette who is ousted out into the shadows, which she also was in reality by this astronomical deceit perpetrated by Jeanne de la Motte (Viviane Romance) who succeeded in duping even a royal cardinal in outrageous manipulation. The tragedy of the story is that the queen got all the blame and never recovered from her sullied reputation, although she was completely innocent - she actually turned the offer of the necklace down, probably the most expensive jewellry ever manufactured, while others saw a great opportunity for personal greed and used it ruthlessly. Although Jeanne de la Motte was sentenced and justly punished by lashing and branding, she actually got away, fled to England and from there carried on a ruthless propaganda campaign against Marie Antoinette, claiming to be a victim of the queen and asserting her innocence in flamboyant and outrageous insolence. The film includes most of the very complicated turns of this mess of a scandal and even gives an excellent rendering of the perhaps greatest charlatan of all times, the Sicilian Count Cagliostro, also known as Joseph Balsamo and many other names, and ending up badly like all the others of this crooked game. Maybe the peak of the scandal was that the poor gullible cardinal de Rohan actually was aquitted, while he must be held accountable for having allowed himself to be duped and not even resigning as a cardinal from church. He was considered as much a victim of the court as Jeanne de la Motte, and although he was innocent in his naïve stupidity and a victim of his own folly of credulousness, he did have a heavy responsibility as a prince of the church, while the criminality of the woman Jeanne de la Motte will remain a wondrous mystery for all times as a most incredibly destructive and abnormal mind.