The San Francisco International Film Festival will open with “Farewell, My Queen” on April 19 at the Castro Theatre. The historical drama, from director Benoît Jacquot (“Right Now,” “A Single Girl”), stars Diane Kruger (“Inglourious Basterds,” “National Treasure”) as Queen Marie Antoinette and Léa Seydoux (“Midnight in Paris,” “Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol”) as her reader during the early days of the French Revolution at Versailles. The period drama earned strong reviews after it opened the Berlin Fest, where TOH! critic Matt Mueller wrote:
Benoit Jacquot’s smart, elegantly mounted costume drama about the court of Versailles as it’s about to be swept away by the French Revolution. Shot partly in the actual palace, and making grand use of dark, dank, candlelit corridors and stairwells filled with increasingly panicky nobles and household staff, “Farewell My Queen” has an intriguing protagonist in Lea Seydoux, who plays a lowly reader to Diane Kruger’s Sapphic-tinted Marie Antoinette, finding her swoony loyalty to the mercurial queen severely tested. It’s stalwart costume drama fare, with an old-school approach, but intelligent crafting and provocative plotting keep it engaging. It already has a US distributor in Cohen Media and they may well benefit from Seydoux’s growing profile (propelled along by the icy assassin she played in “Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol”), as well as the inherent appeal of its subject matter to an upscale audience and the current vogue for upstairs-downstairs storylines.
Jacquot will participate in a Q & A after the screening; the Opening Night Party will follow at the contemporary art gallery Terra. More information on the festival and tickets here.