Friday, March 31, 2017
The film simply looks stunning.
The great Jean-Pierre Léaud, synonymous with French cinema for over half a century, delivers a majestic, career-capping performance as the longest-reigning French monarch during his final days. Albert Serra’s elegant, engrossing contemplation on death and its representation finds the extravagantly wigged Sun King slowly wasting away from gangrene in his bedchamber, surrounded by devoted servants, pets and a retinue of hopeless doctors. Filled with ravishing candlelit images and painstaking details gleaned from Saint-Simon’s memoirs and other historical texts, Louis XIV is as darkly funny as it is moving, revealing the absurdity of the rule-bound royal court, but even more so of death itself. A Cinema Guild release.