San Francisco International Filmm Festival – Opening Night Farewell, My Queen directed by Benoît Jacquot

Thursday, April 19, 7:00 pm
Castro Theatre, 429 Castro Street
San Francisco Film Society

OPENING NIGHT The 55th San Francisco International Film Festival opens with a world-class cinematic event, special guests and a festive celebration with live entertainment, dancing, food and drinks. Join the convivial throng at the Castro Theatre for a special screening then head to a lavish party to enjoy hors d’oeuvres from local restaurants, sophisticated cocktails and, of course, dancing.

Sumptuous and intimate, Benoît Jacquot’s portrayal of court life at Versailles during four crucial days in July 1789 observes at close range the social decay that brought down the monarchy. In this adaptation of Chantal Thomas’s novel, a servant—the queen’s reader and sometime confidante, Sidonie Laborde (Léa Seydoux)—navigates the quietly mounting atmosphere of confusion, denial and panic among the royal family and their cohort following news of the storming of the Bastille. For the tacit but not timid Sidonie, dogged at all times by Jacquot’s camera, the palace’s seemingly endless hallways all lead to one room, the chamber of Marie Antoinette, to whom she is devoted and by whom she is mesmerized. Diane Kruger plays the monarch in a state of charged vulnerability, having lost her head over the otherwise much-despised Gabrielle De Polignac (Virginie Ledoyen); compared to that thrall, the revolution is as nothing to her. She transfers this frisson to Sidonie. Meanwhile, the aristocrats, sycophants and pretenders ensconced at Versailles read the writing on its walls and begin to take their leave. Thus, regime change begins at home.

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