Le Hussard sur le toit

Film

Period and swashbuckler films

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<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>5</span>/5
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Time Out says

1832. Provence is gripped by cholera. Angelo (Martinez), a hussar, flees Austrian assassins determined to stamp out exiled Italian revolutionaries. Although he attempts to help victims with know-how garnered from a doctor, he's almost lynched as a suspected water-poisoner. To cap it all, he meets mysterious Pauline de Théus (Binoche), a woman so brave and loyal that she's prepared to travel the ravaged land alone in search of her husband. The entranced Angelo insists on delaying his return to Italy to accompany her on the quest. But is there hope? Rappeneau's follow-up to Cyrano de Bergerac is a sumptuous costumer adapted from another literary favourite (one of Jean Giono's 'Hussar' novels). He avoids the static pictorialism that afflicts most heritage movies by focusing on dynamic action and using a speedy, kinetic camera and cutting style. Sadly, however, this runs the risk of turning what is clearly intended to be a serious romance into a lusty romp. Binoche's customary gravitas lends the proceedings some emotional depth, while Martinez makes for a handsome, energetic hero. The Provençal villages and landscapes look good (as usual), but in the end there's not enough development, thematic or otherwise, to sustain interest.
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Release details

UK release:

1995

Duration:

136 mins

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Average User Rating

5 / 5

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LiveReviews|2
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patricia, brighton

This is a fast-moving, riveting adventure film showing a time when pestilence spread like wildfire and the panic that ensued when people lived from day to day,expecting death at any time. The two central characters of Pauline (Juliette Binoche) and Angelo (Olivier Martinez) transfix as strong, principled characters with determination to fight for their own causes in spite of the mayhem going on around them. It is not a typical love story as she has a husband she is devoted to and is desperately trying to find, but their life-altering experiences travelling together makes them face their strong bond and gradual love for one another. It is a stirring, breathtaking film with strong performances from Binoche and Martinez. It most certainly does not turn into a "lusty romp" (as per above review) and is brilliantly judged and moving. Certainly in my top ten films.

patricia, brighton

This is a fast-moving, riveting adventure film showing a time when pestilence spread like wildfire and the panic that ensued when people lived from day to day,expecting death at any time. The two central characters of Pauline (Juliette Binoche) and Angelo (Olivier Martinez) transfix as strong, principled characters with determination to fight for their own causes in spite of the mayhem going on around them. It is not a typical love story as she has a husband she is devoted to and is desperately trying to find, but their life-altering experiences travelling together makes them face their strong bond and gradual love for one another. It is a stirring, breathtaking film with strong performances from Binoche and Martinez. It most certainly does not turn into a "lusty romp" (as per above review) and is brilliantly judged and moving. Certainly in my top ten films.