|The Lady And The Duke|
Lucy Russell, Jean-Claude Dreyfus
In French; widescreen; English, Spanish subtitles; theatrical trailer.
|A remarkable experiment by French film auteur Eric Rohmer. Whereas the director usually sets his talky celluloid morality plays in modern-day France, "The Lady and the Duke" is a period drama set during the societal upheavals of the French Revolution. In another leap, Rohmer shot "The Lady and the Duke" on digital video and had computer animators create or dress sets and landscapes to make them look like paintings of the bygone age. The effect is marvelous. Rohmer's view of the turbulent historical circumstances is enhanced by refraction through the prism of English noblewoman and royalist Grace Elliott's memoirs. At great risk to herself, Elliot (Lucy Russell) refuses to leave France as the people rise up against the monarchy. She disregards the wishes of former lover Philippe, Duke of Orleans (Jean-Claude Dreyfus), shuttles between a home outside Paris and a dwelling in the city, and hides a fugitive from the mob. Rohmer turns history into a meditation on honor, loyalty and expedience.|