Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Jewelry in Film: The Affair of the Necklace

Like Faux Fuchsia, at times I must listen to the commands of the universe.
Where FF is directed by the cosmos to bake
I am directed to watch movies.
Lately the black dog has been scratching at the door and I've keep it at bay by settling down on the sofa with netflix or amazon prime.
For several years I've wanted to delve into a series of posts on films where jewelry is an important element of the story,
and where better to start, as I am still in 18th Century Mode, than with The Affair of the Necklace
The film, based on the true story of an extortion plot aimed at Marie Antoinette, is told from the point of view of the con artist or should I say conne artist Jeanne de la Motte played by Hilary Swank. In the film, she is Jeanne de Saint-Remy de Valois, a woman of noble birth, who is forced into her role because she can't get the attention of the queen for restitution of her family estates.  De la Motte / Valois claims to have favor and influence with the Queen in order to solicit patronage by the out of favor Count de Rohan, played by Jonathon Pryce.
and a reconstruction of the infamous Collier Reine Breteuil

Considering the historical importance of the actual Affair of the Necklace in terms of undermining Marie Antoinette and the Royal Family, I thought that this would be an excellent film.
I was wrong.
This film was bad on so many levels I won't name them all.
But it needs to be said that casting Hilary Swank in the role of de la Motte was a mistake.
And, seeing the many historical inaccuracies, large and small, such as watching Swank saunter around Versailles with unpowdered hair was so annoying.

For me, the highlight of the film was the closing credits because of the Lisa Gerrard/Brendan Perry song "Ariadne".
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SewingLibrarian said...

I haven't seen this movie, and I won't after your review, but I will look forward to this series of posts on jewelry in films. I can think of two printed works that I like: The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins and The Necklace by Guy de Maupassant.

LPC said...

Sending hugs.

Belle de Ville said...

SL: Yes the Moonstone and The Necklace are great stories. I believe that The Moonstone was made into a Masterpiece Theater series. I'm not sure about The Necklace but I will look into it.
If you have any other suggestions, please let me know.

LPC: Thank you so much.

Anonymous said...

I hate that black dog but after having a few fraught days of anxiety and tears, I'll take him off your back and settle into quiet depression, send him round, tell him I've got a big juicy marrowbone waiting for him.

Belle de Ville said...

Thanks Tabitha.

Anonymous said...

I'm also compelled to watch movies when the black dog comes knocking. I actually watch certain ones many times, because I know I'll like them, and don't want to chance a movie I maybe won't like, which will make the black dog enter.
Totally agree about your review. Had been excited to see it, and did see it in the theaters when it was released, but walked out. Hillary Swank was beyond annoying.

Belle de Ville said...

Kathy, I'm glad to see you in the blogospere. One of these days we've got to get together for lunch. It's only been maybe 15 years since I've seen you.
I have very fond memories of having Marissa in car pool for John Thomas Dye all those years ago.

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