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The Princess Of Montpensier

The Princess of MontpensierAs war rages through Sixteenth
  Century France, innocent beauty
  inflames the hearts of four men, whose
  fates are intertwined with the lovely
  French noblewoman who desires one
  man while married to another and
  who enchants both her husband’s
  closest friend and the brother of the
  King of France in The Princess
  Of Montpensier

AGAINST A BACKGROUND OF WAR AND BIGOTRY, one woman is used as a pawn to further her family
's ambitions in Sixteenth Century France. In 1562, during the reign of Charles IX of France, the wars of religion are raging.

After a lull, by the Autumn of 1567 war is resumed and the battle-weary Comte François de Chabannes (Lambert Wilson: Of Gods And Men) commits an accidental atrocity for which he is forever tainted, while already disgraced for having changed his allegiance.

His friend and former pupil Philippe, Prince of Montpensier (Grégoire Leprince-Ringuet: Love Songs), arrives just in time to save him from certain death and they resume their friendship, despite François being excluded from both sides.

With peace seemingly within grasp, Philippe returns home to find that he is to be married to the beautiful Marie de Mézières (Mélanie Theirry: Babylon AD), heiress to a great fortune, in order to further increase his own family's fortunes and prestige.

Marie had already been promised to Mayenne de Guise (César Domboy) but, as Mayenne and his sister Catherine (Judith Chemla) are aware, she is in love with his brother Henri, the Duc de Guise (Gaspard Ulliel: Hannibal Rising), who is known as Le Balafré (Scarface). Marie believes Henri to be in love with her, too.

When Marie's father, the Marquis de Mézières (Philippe Magnan) tells her she is to marry Montpensier she is distraught but, after an emotional heart-to-heart with her mother, the Marquise (Florence Thomasin), she eventually submits rather than being forced to enter a convent. Her father breaks the news to Mayenne's concerned uncle, Cardinal de Lorraine (Jean-Paul Dubois).

Philippe's mother, The Duchesse de Montpensier (Christine Brücher) is ill and in a lot of pain, but she gets no sympathy from her husband, the Duc de Montpensier (Michel Vuillermoz), who cold-heartedly schemes for his family's future with little thought for his wife's or his son's feelings.

Now married, Philippe is summoned by King Charles IX to join the war against the Protestants. With the country a bloody battlefield, he takes his new young wife to safety at Champigny, his remotest castle, leaving François as the Princess's protector and tutor, overseeing the completion of her education prior to her presentation at Court.

Inevitably François falls in love with the unhappy Marie, who is a willing student despite still struggling with her passionate longing for Henri.

Amid tales of Henri de Guise's heroism on the battlefield, Philippe sends for François. The war is over and they return to the castle, but all is not well between Marie and Philippe. Fate and the changing course of the war conspire and Henri comes to stay at Champigny in the company of the Duc D'Anjou (Raphaël Personnaz: Blame It On Fidel), the future Henri III. Anjou also falls in love with the Princess, and ignites a violent, passionate rivalry fuelled by jealousy and betrayal.

The Princess Of Montpensier is a sharp and compulsive, beautifully-filmed period romance and also features: Anatole de Bodinat as Joyeuse; Eric Rulliat as Quelus; and Samuel Theis as La Valette.

Original Music is by Philippe Sarde; Cinematography by Bruno de Keyzer; Produced by Frédérique Bourboulon, Laurent Brochand, and Eric Heumann; Writer is Jean Cosmos, based on a short story by Madame de Lafayette; Directed by Bertrand Tavernier (Director of Round Midnight, Coup de Torchon and It All Starts Today).

The Princess Of Montpensier was nominated for the Palme D'Or at the Cannes Film Festival 2010 and is out to own on DVD, Blu-ray and EST on October 31 2011. Certificate: 15 | Total Running Time: 140 Minutes | French Language with English subtitles | Catalogue Number: OPTD2023 | RRP: £17.99 | Blu-ray Catalogue Number: OPTBD2023 | Blu-ray RRP: £22.99. Blu-ray Extras: Making Of The Princess Of Montpensier.

"The Princess Of Montpensier is a sharp and compulsive, beautifully-filmed period romance" — Maggie Woods, MotorBar

"An intelligent historical epic with a vigorous modern sweep ****" — Daily Express

"Handsomely mounted and rousingly acted out" — Evening Standard

"Attractive costumes and scenery added to a stirring story of romance and rivalry" — Daily Star