The Princess of Montpensier review

A lavish and refreshingly modern-feeling 16th century French drama

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It may be set in the 16th century but writer-director Bertrand Tavernier’s “romantic thriller” feels refreshingly modern in its treatment of religious intolerance and the oppression of women.

Eponymous aristocrat Marie (Mélanie Thierry) is a beautiful heiress who, despite loving warrior cousin Guise (Gaspard Ulliel), is forced by her father to marry the shy Prince of Montpensier (Grégoire Leprince-Ringuet).

Robustly acted and dynamically photographed; Tavernier is equally adept at directing intimate encounters as choreographing savage battles, conveying the sense of a society tearing itself apart.

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