Born into poverty, Marquise (Sophie Marceau) is a promiscuous young woman who uses her exquisite beauty and seductive dancing to earn a living. When the distinguished Molière (Bernard Giraudeau) and his theatre troupe come to town, Marquise mesmerises the men, especially the lead actor, nicknamed Gros René, (Patrick Timsit), who falls in love with her and asks for her hand in marriage. She agrees on condition that she joins the group to become an actress. Gros René is deeply in love with his wife, and even accepts her on-going infidelities, until she meets Jean Racine (Lambert Wilson), while they are performing for King Louis XIV and his court. Although flirtatious in manner, Marquise carries honour and integrity in her heart. Following Racine’s coaching, Marquise’s acting talents improve dramatically, and she is at last able to perform the leading dramatic role in his play Andromaque.
Interview with director Véra Belmont
Essay by Laurence Marie-Sacks
- "“Marquise” is a sprightly costumer based on the fetching dancer-cum-thesp who dazzled Moliere, Racine and the Sun King himself before making a suitably theatrical exit in 1668 at age 35. Toplined by Sophie Marceau, the unpretentious dramedy manages to make viewers feel sophisticated and involved without requiring an advanced degree in French history. An attractive cast, bawdy subtext, lavish production design and peppy score are among the pleasures in Vera Belmont’s energetically helmed pic...."
- "Marquise is an exuberant, sexy and rollicking entertainment."
- "Sophie Marceau is dazzling as the alluring Marquise: she captivates at every turn with her coquettish style and delicate beauty. Disarmingly casual about her morals, yet virtuous in spirit, Marquise is the very epitome of the femme fatale: a goddess of feminine wiles, a bewitching enchantress. The entire cast is top notch, the production design excellent and the cinematography beguiling. "
Awards & Recognition
Grand Jury Prize
Toronto Int'l. Film Festival
Venice Film Festival