Farewell, My Queen, based on the international bestselling novel by Chantel Thomas, is brought to the screen by the acclaimed French director Benoit Jacquot. It is a glorious telling of the events surrounding the beginning of the French Revolution and beginning of the end of the reign of Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette. This story has been told before, but not from this view point, which is from the inside Versailles by the Queen’s reader, a girl named Sidonie.
This a beautiful, chilling, and fresh take on the story of Marie Antoinette and the events of the French Revolution. We discuss the royalty point of view or the rebels point of view but what about the people who rely on the royalty for their livelihood? Farewell, My Queen looks at this view point. It did a great job of showing the different view points of how the servants of the royals would have felt and what they would have done. And the truth is, it is not only the servants who were impacted by the revolution. There are nobility and wealthy land owners who live in Versailles along with the King and Queen due to their positions, and they find themselves placed on a list of ‘people to get rid of’ along with the Queen.
So, what could get better you say? Oh, well how about the performances, because they are wonderful. Lea Seydoux, as Sidonie is just captivating. Her ability to show us so much about the character without even knowing anything about her is great. We feel that we know her so well and then at the end of the movie it is brought up that we don’t know anything about her, even though she is our main character. But this is part of the appeal. She is portrayed as a servant in all aspects, including this aspect. Everyone else in the cast is just as wonderful in their roles. Whether the Queen or her favorite, to the royal historical chronicler, or even the King whom we don’t see too often there is so much passion put into the roles you really enjoy everyone that is on screen.
Visually, this blu-ray brings to life what Versailles would have looked like, in both it’s grandeur and it’s barely lit back rooms. There are vast open spaces and rooms crammed with books and papers from ceiling to floor. The colors and shadows are saturated and the contrast is nice.
The Blu-ray Cohan Media release of Farewell, My Queen is available now. The special features are on set cast/crew interviews, an interview with Jacquot, and the trailer.