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Fish-out-of-water drama has minor country aristocrat Pondeludon (Berling) enter the depraved world of the 18th-century court at Versailles. There, he hopes, the king will aid him in his quest to drain the disease-ridden swamps at his estate. The naive provincial finds he must master the weapons of choice for success within the court--wit, deadly ridicule, and impeccable lineage. After initial missteps due to lack of finesse, he quickly adapts, and finds some influential allies: the beautiful Madame de Blayac (Ardant) and sympathetic Marquis de Bellegarde (Rochefort). When the Marquis's spirited and attractive daughter, Mathilde (Godreche), shows up, the smitten Pondeludon must stop her loveless marriage of convenience. Perfectly cast, director Leconte's highly lauded period piece has all the emotional and technical elements of an engaging film. In French with subtitles.

Buena Vista Home Entertainment, 500 S. Buena Vista St., Burbank, CA 91521-1120, Toll-free: 800-723-4763, URL: http://www.bvhe.com

Available on Running time 102 minutes. Originally from French.

Cast and Crew

Genres
Period Piece: 18th Century, Royalty, French, Paris, France
Screenplay
Remi Waterhouse, Michel Fessler, Eric Vicaut
Cast
Charles Berling, Jean Rochefort, Fanny Ardant, Bernard Giraudeau, Judith Godreche, Bernard Dheran, Carlo Brandt, Jacques Mathou
Cinematography
Thierry Arbogast
Director
Patrice Leconte
Music
Antoine Duhamel
Producer
Philippe Carcassonne, Gilles Legrand, Frederic Brillion, Miramax Films

Awards

Oscars 1996: Foreign Film; Cesar 1997: Director (Leconte), Film; Broadcast Film Critics 1996: Foreign Film.

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