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Les Enfants du Siecle Review

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True tale of the tumultuous love affair between two French literary icons of the 19th Century, novelist George Sand (Juliette Binoche) and poet Alfred de Musset (Benoit Magimel). But their affair falls apart during an excursion to Venice, Italy where Musset is distracted by drugs and Sand by a handsome doctor.

★★★★★

Renowned for studies of contemporary women, Diane Kurys seems intimidated by both her subject matter and the period trappings of this debut venture into the heritage business. As a result, her handsome biopic starts out stiffly reverential and inexorably descends into an eloquent slanging match.

Little of the agitation of the 1830s is conveyed in this reconstruction of the passion between poet Alfred De Musset (Magimel) and the high-born mother of two (Binoche) who abandoned her husband and adopted the masculine persona of George Sand to both shock and seduce polite society.

Sand seeks solace in a Venetian doctor (Dionisi), while pursuing her own literary ambitions. Yet Kurys never gets inside her head or her heart, thus making all her sacrifices seem capricious rather than romantic.

A disappointing attempt to bring French novelist George Sand's life to the screen is flawed by the director's inability to bring her characters to life in a stilted period piece.

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