Affair of the Necklace

Release Date: November 30, 2001
Limited release

Affair of the Necklace

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This Warner Bros. fall release tells the purportedly-true story of Countess Jeanne de la Motte-Valois, although for a film supposedly based on a true story, the details of the plot vary widely from site to site. Jeanne de la Motte-Valois either leaves her adoptive parents to find her true heritage, which she suspects is a royal one, or her family is stripped of its titles and position by the Bourbons, specifically Louis XIV and his queen, Marie Antoinette. In either case, Jeanne plots to steal a fabulous diamond necklace. Perhaps she wants revenge on the French royal family, or maybe she's stealing it to buy back her title and her family's good name. Again, depends on which site you're reading. Whichever base version you believe, however, there does seem to have been an historical Affair of the Necklace. A French site about the film quotes Napoleon as citing The Business of the Collar, as this site translates it, as one of three events that precipitated the French Revolution, and the downfall of the French royal family. The tale was previously filmed in 1946 in France as L'Affaire du Collier de la Reine (The Affair of the Necklace of the Queen).

Among the sureties about the film are that its recognizable actors include Hilary Swank as Jeanne de la Motte-Valois, Christopher Walken, Jonathan Pryce and Joely Richardson as Marie Antoinette. It also has an official site and a trailer; although neither tells you much about the film, the latter at least looks pretty.

Having such confusing information about the plot and such an odd trailer does not bode well for this film. Historical dramas are not easy sells, unless they come with lots of action, à la Braveheart, or lots of intrigue, à la Dangerous Liaisons. This film has neither, at least as far as one can tell from its trailer, and there's been precious little advertising to date. As such, I doubt this one will stay in the theaters very long, so if you want to catch it on the big screen, you'd best hurry to your local megaplex as soon as it opens. (Stephanie Star Smith/BOP)

Vital statistics for Affair of the Necklace
Main Cast Hilary Swank, Jonathan Pryce, Simon Baker, Adrien Brody
Supporting Cast Brian Cox, Joely Richardson, Christopher Walken
Director Charles Shyer
Screenwriter John Sweet
Distributor Warner Bros.
Trailer Click Here for Trailer
Official Site
Rating R
Running Time 118 minutes
Screen Count 18
Also see Calvin Trager reviews the Affair of the Necklace trailer
Talent in red has entry in The Big Picture

Comparison films for Affair of the Necklace
Adjusted Opening
Total BO
Adjusted Total
Sleepy Hollow 11/19/9930.06 35.82 3062 9817.00 11208.4 101.07 120.44 3.36
Moulin Rouge 6/1/0113.72 14.64 2279 6019.00 6178.8 57.22 61.07 4.12
Gift, The 1/19/013.46 3.69 805 4299.00 4413.1 11.95 12.75 3.44



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