Film review: Jeanne du Barry starring Johnny Depp

“Jeanne du Barry” is a gripping historical drama written, directed, and produced by Maïwenn, who also stars alongside Johnny Depp. Originally released in 2023 in France, this film features an exceptional cast including Pierre Richard, Benjamin Lavernhe, and Noémie Lvovsky. UK audiences can anticipate its arrival in cinemas on 19 April, 2024.

Prepare to immerse yourself in the extravagant world of pre-revolutionary Versailles with this French film, brimming with romance, intrigue, and breathtaking visuals.

Jeanne Du Barry movie posters london mums magazine collage

The story

At its core, “Jeanne du Barry” follows the journey of a young working-class woman named Jeanne, whose hunger for culture and pleasure propels her towards the opulent world of 18th-century Versailles. She uses her charm and wit to ascend the social hierarchy, that leads to her passionate affair with King Louis XV. Their forbidden love defies all conventions, scandalises the the court of Versailles. Jeanne risks everything for love.

The trailer

The verdict

There’s something magical about French movies, and “Jeanne du Barry” fits right in. It’s like stepping into a fairy tale, full of love and ambition.

“Jeanne du Barry” gives us a peek into the fancy and sometimes dangerous world of 18th-century Versailles. While Johnny Depp’s Louis XV sometimes steals the show, Maïwenn shines as Jeanne du Barry. It’s got stunning visuals, a great story, and a lovely romance, making it a must-watch for history buffs. You’ll get hooked as Jeanne and Louis navigate tricky court politics and secrets; you’ll adore the fancy costumes, the grand sets, and lots of drama. 

Madame du Barry comes off as a bit rebellious, mostly because she shakes things up with her funky fashion choices and just being herself. Unlike Marie Antoinette’s story in Coppola’s film, this one wraps up way before the guillotine gets involved, leaving us with a super indulgent movie that’s totally addictive. It’s all super fancy-looking, with awesome actors and jaw-dropping scenes at Versailles.

Maïwenn plays Jeanne as this clever and flirty courtesan, even chilling out in the tub with a book (did people really do that back then?). Her first big win is with the Comte du Barry, whose son Adolphe she becomes pals with, teaching him cool stuff like philosophy and poetry. The Comte sees it as a good move to introduce his lady to King Louis XV, and as they stroll around Versailles, the king is smitten by Jeanne’s charm and confidence.

After a kinda gross doctor’s appointment, Jeanne finally gets some alone time with the king, and soon they’re inseparable. This doesn’t sit well with the stuck-up court folks, especially the king’s daughters, who see Jeanne as a threat to their mum’s memory. Things get tense when the Dauphin, who later becomes Louis XVI, chooses Marie Antoinette as his bride, totally ignoring Jeanne. As the king gets sicker, Jeanne’s power starts to fade, and big trouble’s on the horizon.

Without Depp’s charm, Louis XV would just be another boring king, and we’d focus more on Jeanne’s political moves. Depp brings some depth, but the love story between Louis and Jeanne feels kinda fake, maybe because they’re both a bit cynical or the performances are a bit fuzzy. Overall, it’s a fun ride, even if it doesn’t quite get how over-the-top it is.

“Jeanne du Barry” is a movie that will stay with you long after it’s over. It’s a real treat for anyone who loves a good historical drama.

London Mums’ Rating: 8/10

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