That Night in Varennes

1982 [FRENCH]

Drama / History

IMDb Rating 7.3 10 2156

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Uploaded By: FREEMAN
July 17, 2021 at 09:08 PM



Vernon Dobtcheff as Judge at the confiscation
Jean-Louis Trintignant as Monsieur Sauce
Marcello Mastroianni as Casanova - Chevalier de Seingalt
Harvey Keitel as Thomas Paine
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
1.36 GB
fre 2.0
24 fps
2 hr 31 min
P/S 1 / 9
2.52 GB
fre 2.0
24 fps
2 hr 31 min
P/S 2 / 9

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Asa_Nisi_Masa2 8 / 10

"Don't exclude anything on principle"

Besides boasting wonderful performances by two of my favourite actors (Marcello Mastroianni and Harvey Keitel), Il Mondo Nuovo (as it's known in Italy) by acclaimed Italian director Ettore Scola is to me as satisfying as a good classic novel, one of those 800-page tomes you approach with a little trepidation and then remember for years to come, wishing other novels you read would compare.

It's the year 1791 and on board a stagecoach, an assortment of characters from different parts of the world are traveling from Paris to Verdun. Along the way the coach picks up the aging (his character is 67 years old in the film), legendary Venetian seducer Giacomo Casanova, as well as the controversial, fawn-like but ahead-of-his-time chronicler and novelist, Restif de la Bretonne. The stagecoach's original travelers include the American Revolution survivor Thomas Paine (Keitel), as well as a melancholic and reserved widow aching to fall in love again, a beautiful and intelligent yet devoutly Monarchist Austrian Countess, a sharp and cheeky Italian opera singer eternally clutching a pet poodle and poking fun at her dim and bigoted husband, as well as a cocky young Jacobean. The coach also includes their servants, among whom the young Countess's devoted butler and her pretty African maid, who soon hooks up with the young Jacobean. Not far ahead of them, another stagecoach carrying the fleeing French royal family - Louis XVI, Marie Antoinette and their children is also traveling along the same road, unaware this will be the route to their irrevocable death sentence.

The story is told through the dialogues and anecdotes of a group unaware of their status as main witnesses to what will turn out to be one of history's most pivotal moments. Besides the breathtakingly authentic feel of the time - you really feel like you've stepped into a Hogarth painting - what's most remarkable is how you also get the sense such historic events are happening in real time, so convincing are the reactions of bewilderment and astonishment on the character's part. A series of vignettes, made delicious by the top-class characterisation and dialogue, contribute to moving the plot along as well as giving the viewer some light relief which however never loses sight of the breathless atmosphere of those revolutionary times.

Mastroianni as the self-deprecating, tired, aging Casanova is a treat from the very first frame he graces to the last. This legendary actor has always brought a unique depth of humanity to his roles, but despite all the other fine actors and characters in this film I just couldn't have imagined it without him. I adored the moment, after having charmed all the ladies and even some of the men on the stagecoach, Casanova kisses the young Austrian Countess's besotted gay butler on the lips and as a parting shot says: "I don't exclude anything on principle."

Especially memorable are the final frames of the film, in which the young Austrian Countess and her butler, after having dressed a wooden dummy in a spartan inn room with the doomed king's ceremonial costume, bow down to it with devotion, symbolising the ephemeral and temporal nature of an earthly kingdom. Some will consider this Italo-French production overlong, others won't be fond of its un-Hollywoodlike approach to the historic genre, others will even consider some of its characters unappealing. On my part I consider these the film's strengths and cannot help but warmly recommending it. My only real complaint is: why hasn't it yet been released on DVD?

Reviewed by nicmart 10 / 10

Close to perfection if you like intelligent films

I frankly don't find much value in movie reviews, amateur or professional, so I won't belabor my points. Simply put, this is the smartest film I've ever seen. A coherent plot and intelligent dialog are critical to my movie pleasure, and this one has them. It is so good that it is almost novelistic, which is not to say that it could have been taken from a novel. Some review guide said of this movie that it is "talk, talk, talk." Exactly! The conversations are witty, charming, and often funny. Be advised that this is not akin to the insipid "My Dinner With Andre," with its metaphysical posturing. One must say this carefully about any movie, but there are actually things to learn from this film, though it is far more entertaining than didactic. The acting is mature and magnificent. I doubt that Mastroianni was ever in a better role. Jean-Louis Barrault and Hanna Schygulla are brilliant. This, along with his other excellent films, should have made director Scola one of the titans of modern cinema. Instead it has never made it to DVD and you will be fortunate to ever see it. (Update: It is now available as an all- region Blu-Ray.)

Reviewed by rab-int 10 / 10

Fascinating movie

We really enjoyed this. Barrault and Mastroianni are terrific actors--did an outstanding job. The philosophical questions raised are still worth considering today, as the movie implies, and yet they are raised in an interesting and indirect way, so the viewer doesn't feel bludgeoned or lectured at.

I was interested to discover that the flight to Varennes was in fact historical, though I could not discover whether Restif de Bretonnes (Barrault's character) was actually at the event and commented on first-hand knowledge. He did write extensively about life and events of the time. The interchange of ideas seemed natural, despite the apparent absurdity of finding all of them in the same coach at the same time. Sort of like those "if you could invite 5 historical figures to dinner at the same time" ideas.

Very much worth seeing.

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