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The Horseman on the Roof-Movie Review 02/10/2011

Posted by Films to consider in Drama, French language film, Movies, Romance.

The Horseman on the Roof (French) 1995
Le hussard sur le toit

Directed by Jean-Paul Rappeneau
Starring Juliette Binoche and Olivier Martinez

During the 1830s, with revolutions happening all over Europe, Italian patriot Angelo Pardi (Martinez) escapes soldiers from the Austrian empire who are fighting in northern Italy. He flees into France, planning to meet up with like-minded friends. He escapes from many impossible situations and tries to save lives from the cholera epidemic racing through the countryside. Eventually he meets Madame de Théus (Binoche), a marquess who must leave to find her husband before she is put into quarantine, and they travel together.

Despite the illness and hardships the couple faces, somehow this story maintains a light touch. The beautiful music and scenery contribute, but the two stars especially make the two hours most enjoyable. (Offscreen, Binoche and Martinez became a couple for a time and had a child together.)

Favorite lines:
Angelo explains his continuing good health: “Cholera avoids me like the plague.”
Madame de Théus to Angelo: “You fell from the sky.” (He was on the roof of her house.)
French soldier to Angelo: “You’re as good as dead, pretty face!” (I couldn’t catch the French words, but that was the English translation.)

119 min. Rated R. Some nudity.


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