Queen Margot

Director: Patrice Chéreau
Year Released: 1994
Rating: 1.5

The Catholics and Huguenots are at war in 16th Century France - fighting over God, of course! - and in the middle of this is fickle, promiscuous Queen Margot (Isabelle Adjani) who carries on an ill-fated affair with a soldier (Vincent Pérez). Eschews historical documentation and character development for hysteria and gore: you'd be better off reading an account of the conflict of the day from actual literature, because this is nearly three hours (the original cut, that is) of people shouting in each others' mouths, people covered with muck, dead naked bodies and, eventually, severed heads. For its over-the-top acting and sensationalism it still doesn't even come close to the lunacy of Ken Russell's The Devils (for better or worse) and Adjani's title character is given little to do but stare bug-eyed at the madness she helped develop (which, admittedly, Adjani is very good at).