Everyone seems tentative and lost in this fact-based costume drama set in the crumbling days of the ancien régime. What persuaded director Shyer he could make the massive leap from the family-movie mediocrity of Father of the Bride Part II to the scheming power-play of the French court? Here a disgruntled countess exposes the extravagance of Marie Antoinette and a cardinal in a sting involving an opulent piece of jewellery. Shyer tries persuade us that the Comtesse de la Motte-Valois is a righteously vengeful victim of injustice, since royal soldiers murdered her rabble-rousing aristo father. In truth, we get two hours of laborious plotting, swishy frocks and unspeakable dialogue. Swank plays a generic 'strong woman' but with little authority or focus, while her illustrious supporting cast never quite ham it up enough to add life to the prevailing stodge.