The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc

"OK"

The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc Review


Milla J., stick to the singing career.

Luc Besson, imaginative mind behind such notable works of art such as The Professional, La Femme Nikita, and The Big Blue, has created such a memorable mess of things with his newest release, The Messenger. A car crash of a movie headed straight for the Days of Heaven territory.

Joan of Arc, one of the most pinnacle figures of French history, has been reduced to a crazy chick with a God complex unseen since Alec Baldwin in Malice. Luc, put down the Braveheart script and try to write something interested and not convoluted like bad matinee popcorn that sticks in a person's teeth. Also, the last thing I need in a movie is Faye Dunaway doing her Mommie Dearest impression for the 56th time.

I wanted to understand the complexity of Joan of Arc's character - her trepidation in confirming her personal beliefs, her fears of battle and violence, her faith in God and country, her ability to stay so DAMN ravishing during battle - I really do. I DO! But I just can't. I just didn't want to after the first fifteen minutes. Besson's inability of winding together a cohesive plot structure and creating emotional connection to the main characters is the main cause for the downfall of the film. When Joan is faced with the dilemmas of conviction and execution of her leadership role, I am wondering what time I can get home to watch the hockey highlights.

On the positive side, the cinematography is amazing, the set and costume designs are impressive beyond words, and the battle scenes are notable but unfocused. One bright star in the cloudy sky is Tcheky Karyo, star of La Femme Nikita and GoldenEye, who provides concrete battle ideals that mesh together with Joan's abstract leadership ideals. At least Besson can rescue him from such films as Wing Commander.

Where are you Jean Reno, when we need you the most?

Milla: We cry with you.



The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc

Facts and Figures

Run time: 148 mins

In Theaters: Friday 12th November 1999

Distributed by: Columbia Pictures

Production compaines: Gaumont

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 30%
Fresh: 22 Rotten: 51

IMDB: 6.4 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer:

Starring: as Jeanne d’Arc, as The Conscience, as Yolande of Aragon, as Charles VII, as Gilles de Rais, as Jean de Dunois, Rab Affleck as Comrade, Stéphane Algoud as Look Out, Edwin Apps as Bishop, David Bailie as English Judge, David Barber as English Judge, Christian Barbier as Captain, Timothy Bateson as English Judge, David Begg as Nobleman, Christian Bergner as Captain, as Talbot, Dominic Borrelli as English Judge, John Boswall as Old Priest, Matthew Bowyer as The Bludgeoned French Soldier, as Domremy's Priest, as Joan's Father, as Vaucouleurs' Priest, Patrice Cossoneau as Captain, Tony D'Amario as Compiegne's Mayor, as Church's Peer, Tonio Descanvelle as Xaintrailles, as Dijon, Sissi Duparc as Mary of Anjou's Lady's Companion, Barbara Elbourn as The Aunt, Christian Erickson as La Tremoille

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