The upcoming Benoît Jacquot film based on the French Revolution novel Les Adieux à la Reine (English title: "Farewell My Queen") by Chantal Thomas has been filming in Versailles and Paris since late May, and thanks to a a newly released interview with the director and several cast members, we now have our first shots of the filming as well as most key cast members in their respected roles - including Diane Kruger as Marie Antoinette. (Picture heavy!)
First is Diane Kruger as Marie Antoinette, lounging in a simple gown at her Petit Trianon estate and enjoying a cup of chocolate. In this scene (in the book, at least) she has called her reader to her estates to soothe her with a light play reading.
We also have Léa Seydoux as Sidonie Laborde, a reader and devotee to Marie Antoinette and the main protagonist of the film. Although her character is a fictional creation of the author, there were many readers employed at Versailles, though (as Sidonie laments in the novel) Marie Antoinette hardly required the use of one.
Next is Virginie Ledoyen as the Duchesse de Polignac, Marie Antoinette's friend and favorite who, by the time of the film's setting in July of 1789, was so loathed by the public that effigies of her were being burned in Paris.
Xavier Beauvois as Louis XVI, the king, overburdened with the failing French economy and revolution.
Noémie Lvovsky as Madame Campan, a lady-in-waiting to Marie Antoinette. Also devoted to the queen, the real Madame Campan would - in an effort to win the favor of the restored Bourbon Monarchy - later write her memoirs, including "The Private Life of Marie Antoinette."
Xavier Beauvois with Francis Leplay and Gregory Gadebois as the king's brothers the comte d'Artois and the comte de Provence, both future kings of France.
Additional behind the scenes images.
Some peasants enjoy time off from yelling and hacking off heads.
Rich people look outside windows.
The king makes his way through a mob.
A graceful walk before the storm.
The role of Gerard Depardieu, who was said to be attached to the film since last year, has yet to be announced. Les Adieux à la Reine is due to be finished filming on July 11th and is set to be released in late 2011 or early 2012 in France, with a possible international release following afterward.
Novel synopsis: A woman whose function it once was to read books aloud to Marie Antoinette is haunted by the memory of her last days at the French court of Versailles, when Louis XVI's magnificent palace succumbed to the irrepressible forces of revolution. Madame Laborde takes the reader within the palace, meticulously reconstructing the 14th, 15th, and 16th of July 1789 -- feverish days when the servants have disappeared and many of the courtiers are fleeing. Versailles' miniature universe, sparkling with every outward appearance of happiness and beauty, is brilliantly juxtaposed with the chaos that erupts. We witness the unraveling of the palace's dawn-to-dusk ritual and the rising panic of the court as Versailles edges closer and closer to collapse.