Farewell My Queen

Adapting Chantal Thomas’ novel, with Gilles Taurand, French director Benoît Jacquot delves into the uneasily gradual onset of the French Revolution, as observed from Versailles. It’s hard not to read this, for better and worse, as a reclamation from Sofia Coppola and consequent restoration to the presumed dignity of sumptuous, period-accurate detail. This Marie Antoinette, played by a gleaming Diane Kruger, preens herself into a triangle with a reader servant (Léa Seydoux), from whose increasingly alert perspective the film plays out, and a very special friend (Virginie Ledoyan). After a few nonverbal raptures and some slinking, candle-lit camera moves, the heat of libidinous sensuality dissipates into lukewarm suds. What’s left is Jacquot’s discretion, his delicate way with impending doom.