Queen Margot ★★★½ La Reine Margot 1994 (R)
Bloodsoaked period of French history is duly rendered on screen in bigbudget costume epic. Beautiful Catholic Princess Marguerite de Valois (Adjani), is the pawn of her devious mother, the widowed queen Catherine de Medici (Lisi). Mom skillfully manipulates unstable son Charles IX (Anglade), the nominal ruler of 1570s France, while she plots to marry Margot off to Protestant Henri de Navarre (Auteuil). Margot is contemptuous of her new husband, preferring to find her amatory amusements in the Paris streets, where she takes a handsome lover de la Mole (Perez). But both Margot and Henri are united against the Queen when Catherine's minions order the murder of the rival Huguenots—a notably violent affair known as the St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre. The history's confusing, the violence graphic, the acting flamboyant, and the visuals topnotch. Based on the novel by Alexandre Dumas. French with subtitles; originally released at 161 minutes. 135m/C VHS, DVD . FR Isabelle Adjani, Daniel Auteuil, Virna Lisi, JeanHugues Anglade, Vincent Perez, Pascal Greggory, Miguel Bose, Dominique Blanc, Claudio Amendola, Asia Argento, Julien Rassam, JeanClaude Brialy; D: Patrice Chereau; W: Patrice Chereau, Daniele Thompson; C: Philippe Rousselot; M: Goran Bregovic. Cannes '94: Special Jury Prize, Actress (Lisi); Cesar '95: Actress (Adjani), Cinematog, Costume Des, Support. Actor (Anglade), Support. Actress (Lisi).