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also known as Joueuse

Queen to Play2009

  • 4.2
  • passes the bechdel test
Academy Award®- winner Kevin Kline and the luminous Sandrine Bonnaire square off in this stylish and sophisticated dramedy of newfound passions and mid-life triumphs, set on the postcard-perfect isle of Corsica. Lovely, repressed and quietly intelligent, French chambermaid Helene comes upon a couple engaging in an intense chess match, and discovers she has a knack for the game. This obsession (much to the chagrin of her husband and teenaged daughter) leads her to seek the clandestine tutelage of a reclusive American doctor (Kline, in his first French-speaking role), a liaison that radically transforms both of their lackluster lives. Based on Bertina Henrichs' acclaimed novel "La Joueuse d'echec" (The Chess Player), QUEEN TO PLAY is the auspicious feature film debut of French director and screenwriter Caroline Bottaro.

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Member Reviews (3)

top reviewer

A pleasing movie with an almost 1930's uplift at the end. Sandrine Bonnaire is winning as well as charming; and Kevin Kline, finely restrained. The true culmination of the movie, as distinguished from Bonnaire's putting down an overbearing player at a climactic chess tournament, occurs when she and Kline play each other in a brief match that is entirely mental, imagined—a brain game between fully witnessed characters whose love in and of the game outperforms any sensual encounter. In the monumental background, Corsica is the true beauty here.

1 member likes this review
top reviewer

Ms Bonnaire is again captivating, and Kevin Kline is even enjoyable for once (perhaps the new language forced him to "check" his ego at the door?). It is a captivating little film which drew me in with Helene's magical infatuation with her new lover. Her re-invigoration is well done, and palpable even without the subtitles. The story is somewhat in the vein of "Pretty Woman" but with an even prettier woman captivating us not with her sexual eruption, but rather with her awakening mind and attendant growing self-confidence. I believe most will feel uplifted as well as we see a remarkable enactment of a flower opening. Plays just as well the second time.

top reviewer

A sweet little movie that is a showcase for Sandrine Bonnaire. Beautifully filmed and acted. Kevin Kline's job in a supporting role is a treat. This film left me feeling good(maybe it was Sandrine's dimples). No earth shaking 5 star blockbuster rating for drama but just for what it is, a fine movie that is not like so many others.