What a pleasure: a lavish costume drama whose underpinnings -- waspish dialogue and finely modulated performances -- are as intricate and well-made as its shimmering surface. Not since QUEEN MARGOT has history seemed such wicked fun. It's 1780: Country blue blood
Gregoire Ponceludon de Malavoy (Charles Berling) attempts to navigate the Kafka-esque intrigues of the court of King Louis XVI, in hopes of getting funding for a land-drainage project that will improve the lives of his peasants. He quickly learns that humanitarian impulses count for nothing in the
Court of Versailles, but wit -- with which he happens to have been blessed -- is revered above all. Armed with...