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Queen Margot (1994)

Queen Margot (1994)

The lusty and lavish French historical drama that pushed the envelope before Game of Thrones

7.6

Movie

France, Germany
French, Italian
Drama, History, Romance
1994
PATRICE CHÉREAU
Asia Argento, Barbet Schroeder, Bernard Nissile
138 min

TLDR

It surely has been said before, but Isabelle Adjani truly is #queen.

What it's about

France, 1570s. The kingdom is torn between two religious factions, so in order to establish peace, the Queen regent Catherine de Medici brokers an arranged marriage between her daughter Margot de Valois with the Protestant Hugenot king of Navarre, Henri de Bourbon, unexpectedly forming an alliance to control the fate of the country.

The take

Before Games of Thrones delivered court intrigues, shocking murders, and adulterous affairs, Queen Margot delivered all these nearly two decades earlier, depicting the dramatized, real life events of the French Wars of Religion. While it doesn’t have dragons, it has style, with some of the most stunning scenes intercut with some of the most gruesome, pushing the envelope with a freedom only possible due to none of their descendants still holding the French throne. It’s also one of the most expensive French films ever made, but every franc was put to good use, with luxurious sound, sets, costumes, and camerawork excellently supporting the cast’s performances. Initially released to mixed reception in America with 20 minutes cut from the runtime, La Reine Margot has thankfully been restored and re-released in full for its 20th anniversary in 2014.

What stands out

Leave it to the French to design some of the most stunning and accurate costumes ever created.

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