Staring: Hilary Swank, Jonathan Pryce, Simon Baker, Adrien Brody, Joely Richardson and Christopher Walken.
Rating: 2½ stars
Review: I’m not too sure about this one. On one hand, it was a beautifully designed movie with a great cast, but on the other it’s… How shall I put it? Ah, yes. Tacky.
Not because of the acting. The acting was good, except Hilary Swank’s, who’s clearly not comfortable in her role. The screen-play itself had some good moments, but what really annoyed me was the narration. More than half the time it was completely unnecessary, gave the movie the feeling of the documentary, and as the movie progressed, made it more and more boring to watch. We could deduce these things for ourselves. That’s what makes a movie fun to watch, allowing us the make our own thoughts about the situation. With this movie we're not given that chance.
Now the good parts: Other than a shirtless Adrien Brody, the production and the costumes were wonderful. It was indeed the costumes of the great Milena Canonero, that helped the viewer, much more than the narration, to place himself in the situation and acknowledge the evolution of the characters.
I try to avoid, when watching an historical movie, to preach about the inacuracies, but one thing really peeved me. Jeanne’s childhood was shown as very idyllic, and then destroyed, parents murdered, etc, etc. This is not only inaccurate, but also incredibly cliché.
While it’s true that she was a descendant from an illegitimate line of the Valois dinasty, her father was a drunk, her mother a servant, and the young Jeanne had to beg. In my opinion they should have kept the truth. Would have been much more realistic and given a clearer view of her motives.
But this is just my opinion.