Review: Jeanne du Barry (2023)

jeanne du barry
Maïwenn as Jeanne (Screenshot/Fair Use)

Jeanne du Barry is a brand-new film about Madame du Barry, the last maîtresse-en-titre of King Louis XV of France, starring Maïwenn as Madame du Barry and Johnny Depp as King Louis XV.

Jeanne du Barry begins chronologically and swiftly walks the viewer through a simplified version of her early life as the illegitimate daughter of a cook. After several years of growing up and working her way up as a courtesan, a plan is devised to introduce Jeanne to the King. After some protocol hiccups and a smashing first meeting, Jeanne is married off to obtain a title so that she can be duly presented at court.

The ladies of the court are aghast at the lowly-born Jeanne being in such high favour with the King. This includes the King’s daughters, who are presented almost as caricatures. Then, a young Marie Antoinette arrives, and she frivolously disregards the influence Jeanne has on the King, leading to a conflict which was only resolved when Marie Antoinette addresses Jeanne in public.

Jeanne rises to such a high station that some wonder if the King will marry her, as King Louis XIV had done with Madame de Maintenon. Her reign as maîtresse-en-titre ends after six years with the death of King Louis XV. She is then ceremoniously shipped off to a convent. As with her youth, the film then skims over her later life, leaving the audience to wonder how and why she ended up under the guillotine so many years later.

Overall, Jeanne du Barry is a brilliantly visual film, and Johnny Depp is marvellous as the King. The costumes are breathtaking, and the jewels sparkle as they should. Maïwenn is perfect for Jeanne. However, I do wish they had spent more time developing Jeanne’s life, both before and after her relationship with the King. It is, after all, her name in the title.

See the release dates for Jeanne du Barry here.

About Moniek Bloks 2749 Articles
My name is Moniek and I am from the Netherlands. I began this website in 2013 because I wanted to share these women's amazing stories.

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