Maïwenn keep getting better and stronger. From Pardonnez-moi through All About Actresses to Polisse and now MY KING (Mon roi), she seems to have become more disciplined as she has grown more mature. Her films have always been fun -- their overwrought moments often their most enjoyable -- but in her latest she tackles the subject of amour fou with a directness and clarity that is at once sad and bracing.
Emmanuelle Bercot, who won a deserved Best Actress award at this past year's Cannes fest, is herself a fine film director (Standing Tall, On My Way, Student Services, Backstage), while her leading man, Vincent Cassel (below), always sexy and charismatic, simply tops himself here. He's phenomenal: glowing, growing, then exploding with energy and charm beyond measure. Our king, indeed. (He actually played one in another of his recent films, Tales of Tales.)
Louis Garrel (above), you've got to credit Maïwenn's ability to bring out surprising new layers in her actors.
Chrystèle Saint Louis Augustin, below, right) who seems constantly in need of his help, Tony tries to look the other way.
Etienne Comar) and the performers, the movie works on all kinds of levels. It will stand the test of time, I suspect, as a simultaneous love story and cautionary tale, a character study, and a look at the way the French well-to-do lived and behaved at a certain point in human history. (Were the film to have dealt with the working class or the poor, I doubt it would have been made.)
Film Movement and running a long but never boring 124 minutes, My King opens this Friday, August 12, in New York City at the Lincoln Plaza Cinema and in Los Angeles on Friday, August 26, at Laemmle's Royal. Here in South Florida it opens in Miami at the Tower Theater, also on August 26, and in Boca Raton at the Living Room Theaters on Friday, September 9. Elsewhere? Absolutely. Click here and scroll down to see currently scheduled playdates, arranged alphabetically by state.