Monsieur N.

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Monsieur N. ★★★ 2003

A charming work of historical speculation that wonders if the body believed to belong to Napoleon Bonaparte truly is the corpse of the legendary French emperor. Opening in 1840, when Napoleon's remains were returned to Paris, the narrative shifts back in time to the emperor's exile on the island of St. Helena after 1815. The narrator, Basil Heathcoate (Rodan), is the liaison between Napoleon's (Torreton) staff and Sir Hudson Lowe (Grant), the British governor of the island. Plots against Bonaparte abound as Lowe fumes at the expense of the exile and the emperor's retinue lusts after their promised inheritance. Caunes deftly keeps the mystery brisk and engaging, while Torreton delivers a hypnotic portrayal of the tactical genius. 127m/C DVD . Philippe Torreton, Richard E. Grant, Jay Rodan, Elsa Zylberstein, Bruno Putzulu, Stephane Freiss, Frederic Pierrot, Roschdy Zem, Siobhan Hewlett; D: Antoine de Caunes; W: Rene Manzor; C: Pierre Aim; M: Stephan Eicher.