Queen To Play (Joueuse)

“I found your movie!”  – Xiomara

That was an early morning (in my timezone) offline message on YM. She’s an artist friend and a very fashionable one. Her works/hobbies (whatever form), as delicate as the author herself, elicit currents of passional energy.

Her awareness of my fascination in chess prompted her to excitedly share the trailer link from iTunes. It indeed captured my interest and is now on my list of must-see films. There is something about French art films that gives me this heightened appreciation and sensitive understanding of its aesthetic value. The language perhaps, I really don’t know.

“Part of chess’ appeal stems from the way each piece moves differently. The Queen is the most powerful piece.”


Queen to Play (original title Joueuse, literally the feminine form of “player”) is a 2009 French-German film directed by Caroline Bottaro. The film had its world premiere on April 25, 2009 in both New York City and Los Angeles, at the Tribeca Film Festival and the ColCoa Film Festival respectively. The film had a national release in France on August 5, 2009 and was set for release in Germany on January 7, 2010. The film will also be released in the United States beginning April 1, 2011.

Synopsis: Oscar winner Kevin Kline (A Fish Called Wanda) and the luminous Sandrine Bonnaire (Vagabond) square off in this stylish and sophisticated dramedy of newfound passions and mid-life triumphs, set on the postcard-perfect isle of Corsica. Lovely, repressed and quietly intelligent, French chambermaid Hélène (Bonnaire) discovers she has a knack for chess. This obsession—much to the chagrin of her husband and teenaged daughter—leads her to seek the clandestine tutelage of a reclusive American doctor (Kline, in his first French-speaking role)—a liaison that radically transforms both of their lackluster lives. (source: Wikipedia)

Official website: http://www.joueuse-lefilm.com/

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