The Princess of Montpensier (2010)
Director: Bertrand Tavernier
Writers: Jean Cosmos, Francois-Olivier Rousseau, Bertrand Tavernier
Notable Actors: Melanie Thierry, Lambert Wilson, Gaspard Ulliel
I enjoy a good historical romp. Lavish costumes, handsome men on horseback, young women trying to navigate their way in a man's world, a dash of political intrigue: put those things together and I will (usually) go with the film. This is certainly the case with The Princess of Montpensier. It is rather ridiculous (everyone is surprisingly clean and beautiful), but I don't want exact historical verisimilitude in every film I see. Sometimes a story of romantic intrigue amongst the 16th century French aristocracy is what one wants.
Though period costume dramas often get a bad wrap, they are one of the few film and TV genres out there that acknowledge the female gaze: handsome men on horseback, with their open shirts flapping in the breeze is what some women want. (Equality of objectification, huzzah!).
I was reminded of the Danish film A Royal Affair, though this is far lighter in tone. That film dealt better with the idea of the personal being political. This is enjoyable and beautiful to look at.