Home Entertainment Jeanne du Barry review – Cannes kicks off with Johnny Depp’s purring and peculiar royal dandy

Jeanne du Barry review – Cannes kicks off with Johnny Depp’s purring and peculiar royal dandy

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Jeanne du Barry review – Cannes kicks off with Johnny Depp’s purring and peculiar royal dandy

The rosebud lips of Johnny Depp on this movie are pursed in a wierd expression of irony, stupefied entitlement and droll, martyred consciousness of the absurdity of which his royal particular person is the centre: a human candle beginning to soften. He performs Louis XV within the decadent courtroom of pre-revolutionary Versailles, purring his strains in French and taking part in him because the ageing, slow-moving dandy – although Rip Torn was sexier in the identical position in Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette.

Depp would possibly even have been higher solid because the lead: Madame Jeanne du Barry, the low-born and entrancingly sensual mistress and royal favorite with whom the king was scandalously infatuated at courtroom, allowing her all method of familiarities and intimacies. Jeanne is in truth performed by the film’s director, Maïwenn, who has written the screenplay with Teddy Lussi-Modeste and Nicolas Livecchi.

Mme du Barry is meant to be a insurgent, though other than inflicting some flutter among the many courtiers along with her gender-dissident garments, and naturally by merely present, she by no means critically challenges something about courtroom life in any respect. (Like Coppola’s Marie Antoinette, by the way, this movie finishes nicely earlier than the guillotine finale.) It’s a preposterous confection of a film, like one of many wealthy sweetmeats being languidly nibbled at courtroom, however very moreish, nonetheless. It’s handsomely furnished and costumed with blue-chip character actors within the supporting roles and a few fantastic areas and interiors on the Palace of Versailles itself.

Maïwenn performs Jeanne as an attractive, sensible courtesan who reads books within the tub (did folks in these days actually bathe carrying a négligé?). Her first necessary conquest is the Comte du Barry, a fawning sybarite performed by Melvil Poupaud, to whose sweet-natured and bookish son Adolphe she takes a platonic shine, tutoring him in philosophy and poetry. Du Barry sees the plain social benefit in getting his mistress launched at courtroom to the king, who’s now a widower, and whereas making a stately procession previous an array of bowing flunkies at Versailles, Louis is struck by Jeanne’s magnificence. He’s impressed by the fearless, and but someway satirical means she meets his gaze, and curtsies in the way in which demonstrated by the Duchess of Sussex in the Netflix docuseries.

Having been topic to a ugly gynaecological inspection by the royal docs, Jeanne is admitted to the kingly presence à deux; issues proceed satisfactorily sufficient (though we’re spared a intercourse scene) and shortly they’re gigglingly inseparable. This infuriates all of the pompous stuffed chemises thereabouts – particularly the king’s grownup daughters with the late queen, who’re to be the ugly sisters to Jeanne’s Cinderella. However an issue arrives when the Dauphin (Diego Le Fur), later to be Louis XVI, makes his selection of bride: the comely Autrichienne Marie Antoinette (Pauline Pollman), who declines to acknowledge Jeanne at courtroom, maybe nettled by Jeanne’s carrying white to upstage her at Versailles. With the decline of the king’s well being, Jeanne’s powerbase dwindles and calamity looms.

Depp in Jeanne du Barry.
Depp in Jeanne du Barry. {Photograph}: goodfellas

The important silliness of the movie is a part of its watchability, although maybe Maïwenn isn’t fairly positive how one can deal with Depp. With out this spectacular casting – though Depp is actually adequate for it to not be merely stunt casting – Louis XV would simply be an unsexy previous man, the royal sugar daddy, and rather more emphasis could be positioned on Jeanne’s political strategising. The presence of the preening Depp at all times insists on greater than that – however Louis and Jeanne aren’t totally credible as a love story, maybe due to the cynicism through which they’re each complicit and maybe as a result of the performances are a little bit opaque. It’s an entertaining spectacle, solely partly conscious of its personal vainness.

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