The play is the thing
Clare Peploe returns. Peploe is married to Bernardo Bertolucci. They have worked on many projects together. Peploe directs this movie and co-writes it with Bertolucci and Marilyn Goldin. Peploe apparently saw the Goldin stage adaptation of this Pierre de Marivaux (1732) play and wanted to bring it to the screen. Firmly influenced by the film Orlando, Juile Taymor's Titus, Prospero's Books and the French New Wave, Peploe's movie is a diverse mix.
Mira Sorvino stars as our Princess who dons the costume of a boy to infiltrate the seclusive camp of the challenger to her throne. The would be Prince is nearly cloistered with Ben Kingsley's Hermocrates, a moral philosopher. The Princess seduces Hermocrates as a woman, seduces Hermocrates' sister, Leontine, as a man, and slowly reveals herself as the Princess to the would be Prince.
This is farce and theatre. It is self aware and still very opulent. Outdoor manicured gardens are most of the stage. Peploe shoots most of the movie with hand cameras and edits shots nervously with quick edits that work for some scenes. This is a light romp, but enjoyable. Certainly Berolucci's hand can be felt in the scenes.
Look for a clever opening credit for the director that moves with the carriage. If you like this movie, you may also enjoy Peploe's other light comedy - High Season.
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