A brand new biopic came to theaters this weekend about Joseph Bologne, composer and Chevalier de Saint-Georges, the illegitimate son of an African slave and a French plantation owner. Bologne’s work and skills were buried by Napoleon after the French Revolution. It has just been recently where his efforts have been rediscovered.
This was the part of Bologne’s life when he was friends with Queen Marie Antoinette (Lucy Boynton) and trying to be appointed to the head of the French opera. For a competition with Christoph Gluck (Henry Lloyd-Hughes), Bologne (Kelvin Harrison Jr.) created his own opera. He wrote the opera for singer Marie-Josephine (Samara Weaving) despite the objections of her husband. The opera led to an affair between them.
The music of this movie was a huge star. I loved the violin duel between Joseph and Mozart (Joseph Prowen) at the beginning of the film. The music throughout was just wonderful to listen to and set the scenes beautifully.
Kelvin Harrison Jr. had a great presence in this movie, carrying himself like a virtuoso and prodigy. I believed he was a master of music, fencing…anything else he was involved with. He and Samara Weaving had a strong chemistry, though you could tell that only bad things were going to be a result of their affair. Weaving had some powerfully emotional moments to perform here and did a stellar job of them.
Lucy Boynton as Marie Antionette gave me Margot Robbie vibes. She did not have a lot of scenes, but she was a prominent feature every time she made it on screen.
I’m not sure how I felt about the finale of the film. It felt a tad unlikely and disappointing. The whole revolution aspect of the plot did not work as well as the relationship between the leads. I felt as if I wanted more at the end. The film could have trimmed off some of the middle parts and extended the end a bit more for some extra heft.
I was not that interested in this movie because I had no idea anything about the person who was Joseph Bologne, but the film did its job well enough to make me curious to find out more about him. That is one of the best things you could say about a biopic.
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