Period drama has a bad name, especially period drama drawn from literary classics, but there is a European tradition of grand historical films that match their sources’ canonical status with the cinematic strengths of narrative sweep and visual opulence.
Think The Leopard as a peerless example: Visconti’s masterpiece is a tribute to Giuseppe di Lampedusa’s novel, but a tribute paid between equals.
Xavier Giannoli’s Lost Illusions (Les Illusions Perdues), in competition at the Venice Film Festival, stands proudly with that tradition.
Lost Illusions takes as its text the novel by Honoré de Balzac, originally written as a serial between 1837 and 1843. A young aspiring poet arrives in Paris from the unspeakably unfashionable provincial town ofRead more on deadline.com