1429. While the war between France and England (the Hundred Years War) appeared settled in 1420, in England's favour, the death of King Henry V of England reignites it. England occupies large areas of France and appears set to take the whole of it. Into this moment of crisis rides legendary Joan of Arc, a teenage girl who claims to be lead by divine visions.Written by
Jack Nicholson was considered for the role of The Conscience. Milla Jovovich said, "I'm glad it wasn't him. He's an incredible actor, but it's Hoffman I want to work with." See more »
Several crucial errors in the coronation scene:
1) The shape of the bishops' mitres are too-narrow and tall for the 15th Century France, and are more proper for 16th century Italy.
2) All coronation ceremonies of the time (which still survive in the Roman service books) specify that the monarch-to-be-crowned is vested in a white alb which covers the coronation outfit. The Dauphin is still dressed in his ermine.
3) The bishop attending continue to wear their mitres during the anointing. The ritual prescribes that the bishop remove his mitre before the anointing.
4) The bishop performing the anointing wears his gloves. The ritual prescribes that the bishop remove his gloves before the anointing.
5) The bishop officiating the coronation holds the ampulla (phial) of oil and shakes it. The correct procedure is for the bishop to remove his gloves, dip the front fleshy part of his right thumb in the Blessed Oil (Oil of the Catechumens), and anoint (rub in the form of a cross) both the palms of the monarch's hands, on the chest, between the shoulders, and on the crown of the head.
6) The coronation ceremony itself has been severely-shortened; in real life, it would have taken up most of the film's running time.
7) The bishop officiating at the coronation has a Rosary in his left hand throughout. A Bishop is not supposed to wear a Rosary during any service. See more »
1420. Henry V, King of England, and Charles VI, King of France, sign the Treaty of Troyes. The treaty states that the kingdom of France will belong to England upon the king's death. But the two kings die a few months apart. Henry VI is the new king of England and of France, but he is only a few months old. Charles VII, the Dauphin of France, has no intention to abandon his kingdom to a child nor even to his tutor, the Duke of Bedford. A bloody war begins and the English, along with...
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The European release was 10 minutes longer than the US theatrical version, which omits, among others, the scene where Joan's virginity is tested before the court of King Charles VII. The longer version has been released in the USA on DVD. See more »
Milla Jovovich may have been the only woman who could have portrayed a 'Joan' believable enough for such a film and approach as that taken by Luc Besson, one which stops just short of suggesting some sort of 'shamanic visionary' as opposed to a character labelled everything from 'deranged schizophrenic' to 'lesbian', simply due to attire, while 'hearing voices' (all historical facts). The key ingredient: the eyes. Not since Faye Dunnaway's unforgetable portrayal in "The Eyes of Laura Mars" (1976), who coincidentally co-stars as an excellent Yolande d'Aragon herewith, has someone captivated an audience simply by a look or a glance. Spell-binding, riveting, and as true to the historical record as one can expect for this most noble of French heroines, while adding a plausible childhood, Besson, Jovovich, an excellent supporting cast and the film were all but ignored for the honours they so richly deserved. Rating five stars (of five) and a film I'll never forget!
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