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The Affair of the Necklace Review

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Fallen aristocrat Jeanne de la Motte-Valois tries to retain her status by pilfering a priceless trinket in 18th Century France triggering all sorts of gullotining mayhem.

★★★★★

When fallen aristocrat Jeanne de la Motte-Valois (Swank) tries to retain her status by pilfering a priceless trinket in 18th Century France, it triggers off a string of events that culminate in the besmirching of the monarchy and some important people losing their heads to the guillotine.

You wouldn't think that such fascinating material - based on a true story - could possibly be dull, but in the hands of Father Of The Bride director Shyer, it works neither as French revolutionary romp nor compelling historical drama.

The sets and costumes are beautiful, and Pryce is decent enough, but it's hard to take things seriously when the story crawls at a snail's pace, Swank's French noblewoman keeps slipping into mid-Southern twang and Walken shows up looking like a very curious cross between Gary Oldman's Dracula and Bagpuss.

It's hard to believe such genuinely interesting material and talented actors could be handled so badly.