Archive of films Kings And Queen / Rois et reine

2004, 150 min

Section: Horizons
Year: 2005

A movie divided into two independent plotlines portraying, in one, the heroine Nora´s emotional ups and downs, made all the more complex by her father´s illness and death. The other focuses on Nora?s ex-husband Ismaël, who has been committed to psychiatric hospital by mistake. Reminiscent of an Eric Rohmer movie, the film asks basic existential questions about everyday life situations.


Two independent storylines focus on a man and a woman who were once husband and wife. In the first, Parisian Nora is going through a tough period in her life. After divorcing, she gets involved in another relationship, and at the same time must come to terms with her writer father’s cancer and his ultimate death; the fact that he was her son Elias’s caretaker complicates things further. The other plotline involves Nora’s ex-husband Ismaël, who is committed to an asylum by mistake. He is thereby thrown into complicated situations that change his life. Nora, shaken by the death of a loved one, returns to the dramas of her past (the suicide of her first husband, Elias’s dad, her relationship with her son and with her elderly father, her lonely mother). She decides to seek out Ismaël and ask him to adopt Elias. Reminiscent of an Eric Rohmer movie in its emphasis on verbal confrontation, the film contemplates the meaning of life and the complicated nature of human relationships.

About the director

Arnaud Desplechin (b. 1960, Roubaix) graduated from Paris’s IDHEC film school where he made two shorts. After graduating, he co-wrote the screenplays or was cameraman for the documentaries of other directors (Éric Barbier, Patrick Grandperret and Éric Rochant). His early independent dramatic work includes his debut La vie des morts (1990) and the spy thriller The Sentinel (La sentinelle, 1991). He acted in Serge Moati’s Poorly Extinguished Fires (Des feux mal éteints, 1993). His tale of relationship complications, My Sex Life...or How I Got into an Argument (Comment je me suis disputé... (ma vie sexuelle), 1996), unfolds among university intellectuals afflicted with existential angst. Set in London, Esther Kahn (2000) takes a look at the stage career of a late 19th century Jewish actress; it was lauded by French critics as the film of the year. Prior to Kings and Queen, he made Playing ‘In the Company of Men’ (En jouant ´Dans la compagnie des hommes’, 2004).


Wild Bunch
65 rue de Dunkerque, 75009, PARIS
Tel: +33 143 132 130
Fax: + 33 1 431 321 30

Hollywood Classic Entertainment
Psohlavců 8, 147 00, Praha 4
Czech Republic
Tel: +420 226 224 111
Fax: +420 226 224 110

About the film

Color, 35 mm

Section: Horizons
Director: Arnaud Desplechin
Screenplay: Arnaud Desplechin, Roger Bohbot
Dir. of Photography: Eric Gautier
Editor: Laurence Briaud
Producer: Pascal Caucheteux
Production: Why Not Productions, France 2 Cinéma, Rhône-Alpes Cinéma
Cast: Mathieu Amalric, Emmanuelle Devos, Valentin Lelong
Contact: Wild Bunch, Hollywood Classic Entertainment


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Alain de la Mata

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