French Drama Comes to Sunrise
"Farewell My Queen" opens Thursday evening, Oct. 11, at the Sunrise Theater in Southern Pines.
The drama is about life at the royal palace of Versailles during the last four days before the French Revolution. It is directed by the well-respected Benoit Jacquot.
The film describes life at Versailles exclusively through the eyes of Sidonie Laborde (Lea Seydoux), an innocent young woman and official reader for Queen Marie Antoinette (Diane Kruger). Sidonie reads plays, novels and fashion magazines to the queen in her luxurious quarters. Sidonie is not an all-knowing character, but she uses her palace resources to learn the news about the seizure of the Bastille.
As the film opens on July 14, 1789, Sidonie rushes from the stone walls of her room in the servants' quarters in the royal palace to an appointment with the Queen at her lavish private chamber. When Sidonie arrives, the queen is closely guarded by her lady-in-waiting. Within the framework of majestic privilege and etiquette, Sidonie and the Queen seem to have a comfortable relationship.
During the next days, reports arrive at Versailles about the storming of the Bastille by French revolutionaries. Rumors spread among the servants - many of them trying to understand what that means for the French monarchy and for them personally.
At first, the atmosphere at Versailles seems detached from the violence. Sidonie packs books for the queen's departure. Then, suddenly Sidonie receives a shocking new perspective on a system that she previously accepted.
Jacquot actually filmed many of the scenes at Versailles. The palace's dark and narrow servants' corridors have candles providing ever-shifting shadows and glows that foresee the coming changes. The director builds the corridors' biting mosquitoes and unpleasant odors into the action.
The film was written by Jacquot and Gilles Taurand, based on a novel of the same name by the French writer Chantal Thomas.
"Farewell My Queen" has been designated a Critics' Pick by the film reviewers of The New York Times.
It plays from Thursday, Oct. 11, through Monday, Oct. 15, at 7:30 p.m., with a matinee on Sunday, at 2:30 p.m. There will not be a matinee showing on Saturday, October 13. The film is in French, with English subtitles. The film is rated R and runs for 100 minutes.
The historic, nonprofit Sunrise Theater is located in downtown Southern Pines at 250 NW Broad St. Tickets are $7 and are available only at the box office prior to shows. Refreshments available include fresh popcorn with real butter, soft drinks, beer and wine.
Visit www.sunrisetheater.com or call (910) 692-8501 for more information about the theater and a complete calendar of events.
More like this story