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Wednesday, April 23, 2014 
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Cinematronic by Michael Snyder
Film
cinematronic
  On Guard cinematronic
  director

Philippe de Broca

cast

Daniel Auteuil, Vincent Perez, Marie Gillain, Fabrice Luchini, Philippe Noiret

year

1997

rating rating cinematronic
  When it comes to 18th-century French costume epics, "On Guard" really cuts it. At first, Gallic superstar Daniel Auteuil ("The Closet," "Sade") behaves on the pompous, silly side as Lagardère, common-born bodyguard and sidekick to Nevers (Vincent Perez), a dashing nobleman. Nevers is the consummate swordsman, but Lagardère is a fast learner. Over time, Lagardère must show his skill with a foil, since he's sworn to protect a young girl (Marie Gillain) from a gang of assassins in hot pursuit. "On Guard" is more than a jaunty adventure film. It transmutes into an unusual love story with a sweet payoff for the broad-minded viewer. Perhaps the French are so good at swashbuckling movies because of their history of musketeers and highwaymen. For whatever reason, everyone involved in "On Guard" seems to be having a ball, and it's infectious. "On Guard" is thrilling and amusing, and it engages the heart. It's also the work of writer/director Philippe de Broca, whose sprightly, wistful "King of Hearts" is an art-house perennial, well-loved by its fans years after its release. Here's another de Broca charmer that should endure.  
cinematronic
cinematronic


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