Filmmaking legend Roberto Rossellini brings his passion for realism and unerring eye for the everyday to this portrait of the early years of the reign of France’s “Sun King,” and in the process reinvents the costume drama.
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It's important to notice how instructional the film's exposition is to understand the essence of monarchic principles, while at the same time finding an opportunity to improve the made-for-TV standards to exquisite, then unseen levels of narrative and formal sophistication. This is a full meal.
This is a brilliant and intimate work of art that deals with history in a documentary like manner instead of tacking on a bunch of useless melodrama. Roberto Rossellini truly did reinvent the language of cinema.
Rather cold and precise. It is ambitiously and perhaps commendably exactly what it is but I found it really difficult to engross myself in and lacked some of the brilliance that has made Rossellini one of my favourite directors.