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KINGS AND QUEEN aka ROIS ET REINE
UK: Artificial Eye Film Company
Cast: Emmanuelle Devo, Mathieu Amalric, Catherine Deneuve, Maurice Garrel, Nathalie Boutefeu, Paul Roussillon, Magalie Woch, Hippolyte Girardot, Noemie Lvovsky, Elsa Woliaston, Geoffrey Carey, Valentin Lelong, Thierry Bosc, Olivier Rabourdin, Olivier Borle, Didier Sauvegrain, François Toumarkine, Miglen Mirtchev, Marc Bodnar, Catherine Rouvel, Jan Hammenecker, Marie-Françoise Gonzales, Joachim Salinger, Daniel Cohen, Frederic Epaud, Claude Phor, Karim Belkhadra, Gaëlle Dill, Shulamit Adar, Marc Betton, Gilles Cohen, Francis Leplay, Bernard Garnier, Joël Dahan, Rachid Hami, Marion Touitou, Yann Coridian, Andree Tainsy, Sarah Lefevre, Denis Falgoux
Director: Arnaud Desplechin
Language: French (English subtitles)
USA & UK: 150 mins
UK Certificate: 15 contains strong language
USA Release Date: 13 May 2005 (Limited Release)
UK Release Date: 10 June 2005
Arnaud Desplechin is one of France's most inspired filmmakers. His new film, KINGS AND QUEEN (ROIS ET REINE), premiered at the 2004 Venice Film Festival. For this magnificent film, the French film journalists crowned Desplechin with the prestigious PRIX DELLUC and four ETOILES DE LA PRESSE. Mathieu Amalric won a Cesar for his brilliant performance as the misunderstood genius Ismaël.
KINGS AND QUEEN is a rich film that tells two stories, converging on the life of two people, Ismaël and Nora, who on first glance seem to have nothing to do with each other. Nora (Emmanuelle Devos), 35 years old, always charming and caring, has a 10 year-old son from her first husband, who committed suicide. She is divorced from the second husband Ismaël (Mathieu Amalric) and about to marry her third. She travels to Grenoble to take care of her dying father and to spend time with her silent son. Meanwhile, Ismaël, a sane but neurotic violinist, is flipping out. Having problems with tax collectors and his sister, he picks up some eccentric habits that land him temporarily in a mental institution, where he provokes the psychiatrist (Catherine Deneuve) and a young girl who is attracted by his behaviour. This is the moment when Nora comes to him with the question that he should adopt her son Elias. From then on, Desplechin unveils more and more details about his characters Nora and Ismaël, who turn out to be quite different from what one expects.
In ROIS ET REINE, Desplechin explores the territory between comedy and tragedy and exhilaration and despair, and the permanent conflict that afflicts us all - the conflict between man and woman, father and child, life and death. The film's romantic and emotional power is irresistible, and some of France's best actors deliver their best performances. It is impossible not to feel engaged.