Marie antoinette

Wikipedia does more justice to this fascinating story than this film: Chevalier reviewed

Chevalier is a biopic of Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges, whom you’ve probably never heard of, as I hadn’t. He was an 18th-century French-African virtuoso violinist and composer who wowed everyone in his day – in 1779, John Adams, then the American ambassador to France, called him ‘the most accomplished Man in Europe’ – but was erased from history and is only lately being rediscovered. Fascinating, you would think, and he was fascinating. Even a cursory look at his Wikipedia entry is thrilling. But this is not a fascinating or thrilling film. It is handsomely mounted yet strangely bland and strikes too many false notes. I was going to say

The curious similarities between Carrie Symonds and Marie Antoinette

What is Carrie Symonds’s status? She seems to have a lot of influence but its extent is undefined. People find the lack of clarity unsettling. Nic Conner of the Bow Group observed in the Times that unlike ministers or civil servants she ‘cannot be sacked’ — a questionable point given Boris Johnson’s alleged amatory record. It is true however that she was neither elected nor appointed. So what is she — mistress, partner, girlfriend, fiancé or (perish the thought) first lady? We have to raid the historical locker to find the mot juste: maîtresse-en-titre – the official mistress of the French kings. The mistress that seems most relevant is Madame de Pompadour