Film director Benoît Jacquot's nimble, lush adaptation of Chantal Thomas' 2003 novel about the chaos at Versailles on the eve of the 1789 revolution is told not through the vantage point of the monarchs but through the eyes of Sidonie, the besotted reader to Marie Antoinette.
Compressed to four tumultuous days in July and taking place almost entirely within the actual royal palace, "Farewell, My Queen" tracks its protagonist relentlessly - the camera is often positioned just a few inches behind Sidonie as she scrambles down corridors, sometimes tripping, as she tries to make sense of the rumors she hears among other courtiers and rushes to read a few pages of Rousseau to Her Majesty.
"Your love of the queen makes you blind to her caprice," one of Louis XVI's historians tells Sidonie-and the pleasure of Jacquot's film is in watching various strains of discreet yet heated, deluded passionate attachments form.
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