Benoît Jacquot: Leading Ladies screenings held in New York

Marie Antoinette remembered in Farewell, My Queen.

by Anne-Katrin Titze

Benoît Jacquot's Farewell, My Queen (Les Adieux à la Reine) starring his leading ladies Léa Seydoux, Diane Kruger and Virginie Ledoyen
Benoît Jacquot's Farewell, My Queen (Les Adieux à la Reine) starring his leading ladies Léa Seydoux, Diane Kruger and Virginie Ledoyen

CinéSalon's Benoît Jacquot: Leading Ladies (March 3 - 24), curated by Delphine Selles-Alvarez at the French Institute Alliance Française in celebration of the 20th Anniversary of Rendez-Vous with French Cinema in New York included screenings of The Disenchanted (La Désenchantée) starring Judith Godrèche, Marcel Bozonnet and Ivan Desny, introduced by Jacquot; A Single Girl (La Fille Seule) - Virginie Ledoyen, Benoît Magimel, Dominique Valadié introduced by choreographer Blanca Li, who has worked with Pedro Almodovar and Michel Gondry; Villa Amalia - Isabelle Huppert, Jean-Hugues Anglade, Xavier Beauvois and À Tout De Suite - Isild Le Besco, Ouassini Embarek, Nicolas Duvauchelle, Laurence Cordier.

Léa Seydoux is lovely and tough as the reader and our heroine in Farewell, My Queen
Léa Seydoux is lovely and tough as the reader and our heroine in Farewell, My Queen Photo: Anne-Katrin Titze

On Tuesday, March 24 at 7:30pm, Eye For Film's Anne-Katrin Titze will present Farewell, My Queen (Les Adieux à La Reine) starring Léa Seydoux, Diane Kruger and Virginie Ledoyen. A wine reception follows the screening.

Benoît Jacquot takes us behind the scenes at Versailles with Marie Antoinette (a glorious Kruger) and her ladies-in-waiting from July 14 to July 17 1789. She has only four days, all at the Petit Trianon, to leave her mark. And she does - a fervent and poignant, half-aware queen, lovely, complicated, fascinating to watch in her ardent turmoil and luxuriant obliviousness. Rumours, fashions, jealousies, unrest with candles in corridors.

Seydoux plays Sidonie, the queen's faithful reader and secret embroideress, who has a much bigger job than checking the maps between Versailles and Metz. "I take notes until the day I die," says one of the characters and so should you, while you glimpse the beautiful women, who discuss dresses the color of baby-crocodiles, which turn out to be the colour of hope in questions of life and death. Gabrielle de Polignac (Ledoyen, with a perfectly ambiguous expression) is called "a folly that will cost her [Antoinette] dearly" and we first meet her naked in bed, sleeping after two opium seeds.

CinéSalon - Benoît Jacquot: Leading Ladies French Institute Alliance Française - Florence Gould Hall Theater 55 East 59th Street, New York.

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