Queen to Play

100 min. minutes | Rated NR

This movie is about Hélène (Sandrine Bonnaire). She is Corsican. She is slender. She is right in the middle of that period of life that forms the bridge between youth (dawn) and old age (dusk). Her youth was clearly unexceptional, and it's doubtful that her final years will be any different. The fire has long left Hélène's marriage; indeed, it's hard to imagine that she and her husband, Ange (Francis Renaud), ever felt the flames of desire, ever kissed wildly, passionately, madly. Hélène also cleans the house of a rich and educated American, Dr. Kröger (Kevin Kline). French-speaking Kröger is the second of two important Americans in the film, the other being an unnamed woman played by Jennifer Beals ("In a world made of steel, made of stone..."). The role of the first American is to initiate Hélène's transformation; the role of the second is to complete or realize this transformation. The first American offers Hélène two possible paths to a new (or renewed) life: One is chess and the other is a sexy dress. The sexy dress goes nowhere, but the chess, with the aid of Kröger, does take Hélène all the way to a happy ending.


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Film Credits
Caroline Bottaro
Jennifer Beals, Sandrine Bonnaire, Laurence Colussi, Maxime Delauney, Didier Ferrari, Alexandra Gentil, Dominic Gould, Kevin Kline, Valérie Lagrange, Daniel Martin