Cinema: Drollery And Decolletage

The Affair of the Necklace is a delightful trifle

Just before Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette were deposed by the French Revolution, a woman named Jeanne de la Motte-Valois engaged in a historically murky, slightly incomprehensible plot to peddle an elaborate and hugely expensive necklace to the Queen and keep the profits, even though she did not own the jewelry. When she was placed on trial for this crime, much about the decadence and indifference of the monarchy came out and helped swell revolutionary passions among the populace.

This much of The Affair of the Necklace is true, and it makes for a sumptuous movie. John Sweet's script supplies Jeanne...

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