Kings and Queen (image 1)

Screened as part of NZIFF 2005

Kings and Queen 2004

Rois et reine

Directed by Arnaud Desplechin

This marvelously unpredictable tragicomedy concerns the lovely, rather enigmatic Nora and the constellation of males circling her: aging father, young son and former flame. “If there’s a more humane, joyous, tragic, life-affirming movie to be found at the moment, I’m not aware of it.” — LA Weekly

France In French with English subtitles
150 minutes 35mm


Arnaud Desplechin
Roger Bohbot


Éric Gautier


Laurence Briaud


Emmanuelle Devos
Mathieu Amalric
Catherine Deneuve
Magali Woch
Valentin Lelong


Venice, Toronto, New York 2004; Rotterdam, San Francisco 2005


This marvelously unpredictable tragicomedy from the writer/director of My Sex Life… concerns the lovely, rather enigmatic Nora (Emmanuelle Devos) and the constellation of males circling her: aging father, young son and former flame, Ismaël, played by a hilariously hotheaded Mathieu Amalric. The film’s structure is amazingly free-wheeling, as if it’s tugged in unexpected directions by the director’s discoveries about his characters.

“This is an explosive, funny, tragic, challenging and constantly surprising movie that seems to encompass all genres… I was so wrapped up in its world of love and betrayal and madness, its story of a pampered belle and a man crumbling into insanity in a trashed apartment and the skein of invisible threads connecting them, that when it ended I didn't want to leave… With all his artifice, his prodigious narrative risks and seemingly undisciplined mélange of styles and tones, Desplechin has made a film that feels more like real life than anything I've seen in years, from any source. It's a masterpiece. ” — Andrew O’Hehir,