L’Allée Du Roi – *

Posted: April 20, 2014 in 1996, Costume Drama, Drama, France, Historical, Romance, X

A tip from the local guides in Versailles: L’Allée Du Roi, a French television movie from the nineties. It’s long (over four hours) and very literary (the dialogue sounds like it is memorized from the book it’s based on). The acting is solid, but theatrical. And there is little humor. The dvd has no subtitles, so it’s tough to sit through if you’re not a native French speaker. There are tons of historical characters, so you may want to have wikipedia opened while you’re watching (it really helps). And the first part is a real drag. BUT once the story takes place in Versailles, things change. The care for historical details is amazing. And the acting between the main characters is excellent at times. Too bad the end becomes a drag as well.

L’Allée Du Roi takes place at the court of Louis XIV, the Sun King and is quite intriguing. It recounts the story of his second wife, marquise de Maintenon Francoise D’Aubigné. The years of marriage only account for the last half hour or so as they got married quite late. Before she became his wife, she was one of his mistresses. Before she was his mistress she worked as a nanny to the children he conceived with his most famous mistress, Madame de Montespan. Before that she was married to a cribbled poet Paul Scarron. And before that she was a poor orphaned Hugenot who had been brought up in Martinique.

Dominique Blanc is okay as Francoise. Didier Sandre is also good as the king. And Valentine Varela is excellent as madame de Montespan. The scenes between these three actors are excellent. But you may just want to buy the book after your visit of France’s most visited palace.



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