Farewell, My Queen

2012 film directed by Benoît Jacquot

Farewell, My Queen (Les Adieux à la reine) is a 2012 French historical drama directed by Benoît Jacquot and based on the novel of the same name by Chantal Thomas. The film is a look at life in Versaille during the first days of the French Revolution.

How could anyone want power?

Versailles, July 14, 1789

Marie Antoinette:   What will you read to me?
Sidonie Laborde:   I thought Bossuet's funeral eulogies of Maria-Theresa of Austria.
Marie Antoinette:   Oh no! How bleak! That poor woman was bored all her life. You know what she said when she died? "Ever since I was the Queen, I had only one happy day in my life!" And nobody knows which day it was. Give me something that is… a bit frivolous.

Madame Campan:   You scratch yourself in front of the Queen? We'll talk about this!

Madame Tournon:   At my age I do not fear to face the truth.

Sidonie Laborde:   Marie-Antoinette prefers dresses over books.

Sidonie Laborde:   I understand why the Queen spends hours looking at her fabrics. It makes her forget that she's the Queen.
Honorine:   I never forget who I am.

Sidonie Laborde:   They cheered for the King.
Nicolas Moreau:   They cheered because he spoke standing and without his hat. They didn't cheer for the King, but for just another citizen.

Versailles, July 15, 1789

Louison:   You call this bread?
Cook:   For some, it's enough for a week.

Sidonie Laborde:   You know what hurts me most? The hostility towards the Queen.
Nicolas Moreau:   I know your fervor for for Marie Antoinette.
Sidonie Laborde:   Not at all. I'm only her maidservant. What do I say? Maidservant for the books of Her Majesty's library. There is no fervor to this.
Nicolas Moreau:   So young… and already blind. Your love for the Queen makes you judge her capricious behavior with too much indulgence. Gabrielle de Polignac is an illusion which will cost her dearly… And she's not yet finished paying for it.

Nicolas Moreau:   The Marquis has been living for ten years in a dump in Versailles. While his castle is said to be magnificent. All this, just to see the King in the big hall twice a week.

Marie Antoinette:   You know what I find so charming about you, Sidonie? It's not so much the beauty of your facial lines. It's rather the youth that you radiate all the time.
Sidonie Laborde:   But Your Majesty, you're so young…
Marie Antoinette:   I was. I have a question.
Sidonie Laborde:   I will answer all of Her Majesty's questions as far as I'm able to.
Marie Antoinette:'   Did you ever feel attracted to a woman… to the point of… suffering terribly when she's not there? I can spend hours imagining her… with my eyes closed:   the shape of her face, the softness of her skin, the cheerful glow of her eyes…
Sidonie Laborde:   I guess I know who you're talking about. I envy her for being the object of such intimate friendship.
Marie Antoinette:   Until the point… that in miserable times I only think of her absence.
Sidonie Laborde:   It depends on you…
Marie Antoinette:   Unfortunately not. Gabrielle de Polignac isn't one of those persons who can easily be seduced. I was captivated
'when I saw her at Trianon. She felt at home. She went in and out as if she had always lived there. She was never lead by the intention to please me. I like that kind of freedom. You may wonder why she's not here although I'm craving so much for her presence. I, the Queen of France. The answer to that question scares me. I have to recognize that… I am her prisoner. It's been two hours since I asked Madame Campan to call for her. Gabrielle let her know that she's angry. But what is she angry about? What have I done to put her off?
Sidonie Laborde:   May I try what Madame Campan wasn't able to do? I will find better words to convince her. I know the right words. They're from the books that I read.
Marie Antoinette:   Try it then, and we will see.

Versailles, July 16, 1789

The Queen never opened or closed a door in her life.
Nicolas Moreau:   What we will you do?
Sidonie Laborde:   I'll stay with the Queen as long as necessary.
Nicolas Moreau:   This prospect… seems to fulfill you.
Sidonie Laborde:   I can't imagine my life's condition if the Queen would leave Versailles. And you, Monsieur Moreau?
Nicolas Moreau:   I… Until my hour of death, I'll take notes.

Madame Campan:   I never had any friends at Versailles.

Marie Antoinette:   I longed so much for my departure… Never have I longed so much for one thing. I suffered a humiliation that is unprecedented. If they had accepted the King, you and I would be save. My dear friend… I've been so worried. I thought you were ill. Terrible ideas were lurking in my mind. But now you're here. Splendid. How you beautiful you are in this green dress. Watery green? Mellow green? Pastel green?
Gabrielle De Polignac:   Jade green? Or green like a baby crocodile?
Marie Antoinette:   You're wrong, my sweet. Neither crocodile green, nor spinach green, nor acid green.
Gabrielle De Polignac:   Silk green? Or green like envy?
Marie Antoinette:   Envy is the most common thing this world. Everyone covets a status higher than their own.
Gabrielle De Polignac:   And so they end up bumping against the ceiling.
Marie Antoinette:   If only I could have you always by my side. You're like a fountain of youth to me. Have you seen all those desolate faces? Crows with a rancid smell. And suddenly I saw you, enchanting in your dress.
Gabrielle De Polignac:   Light green is the color of hope.
Marie Antoinette:   Did you put it on for me?
Gabrielle De Polignac:   Only for you, Madame.
Marie Antoinette:   You know, my dear friend… I don't exaggerate about the hate that surrounds us. I've drawn you into this. It's my fault that the people want your head. You know what I've learned from the Council this morning? Yesterday in Paris, a woman had been stabbed in her carriage. The killers thought it was you. It's not enough for them anymore to burn us in effigy. They want us… in the flesh. Therefore, my dear Gabrielle, I beg you… Leave France! You and your family.
Gabrielle De Polignac:   You're certainly right, Madame. Since it's required, I will go.
Marie Antoinette:   Don't say anything anymore. Leave! Wait! Let me breathe for the last time the scent of your youth.
Gabrielle De Polignac:   Don't allow that I abandon you.
Marie Antoinette:   You already did. It's done. You've abandoned me.

Louis XVI:   The people not only want bread, but also power. How could anyone want power? For me it's a curse that one involuntarily inherits. A curse hidden under a fur coat of ermine.

Louis XVI:   Coming to Paris with my guards would anger the people…
Marie Antoinette:   That's crazy!
Louis XVI:   No, Madame. It's the voice of reason.

Madame Moreau:   The Queen never opened or closed a door in her life.

Versailles, July 17, 1789

Duke De Polignac:   These days, a coachman keeps his head longer than a nobleman.

Marie Antoinette:   Let's talk about your future.
Sidonie Laborde:   My future is where you are, Madame.
Marie Antoinette:   Exactly not. Soon there will be a carriage leaving for Switzerland. You'll be going with it. Don't look like that! Two days ago you told me you'd be ready to make any voyage for me. I grant you this privilege. You will escape together with the Duke and the Duchess De Polignac. Gabrielle is too famous and unfairly criticized. Without the disguise she'd risk her life. She will disguise as a maid and you will put on her dress. In case the carriage gets stopped, I want her to get away.
Sidonie Laborde:   In a way, Majesty, you ask me to be the bait.
Marie Antoinette:   A very ugly word from such pretty mouth!
Sidonie Laborde:   Words are everything I have. I know how to use them.
Marie Antoinette:   Don't be so arrogant when I give you the chance to win my favour! Yesterday I confessed my love for Gabrielle to you. Because you deserve it. Has any queen ever shared such intimacy with their reader? … Take off your clothes! Take off your clothes! … Sidonie! Tell Gabrielle… that I will never forget her.
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