Queen to Play

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Zeitgeist Films Released 2011

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Director:
Unknown
Released:
2011
Rating:
Not Available
Queen to Play is a 2009 drama directed and written by Caroline Bottaro and based on a novel by Bertina Henrichs. Living on the beautiful isle of Corsica, Hélène (Sandrine Bonnaire) works as a hotel maid, hiding her sharp intellect and never seeking anything better for herself. She loves her husband (Francis Renaud), but their relationship has grown stagnant over the years, focused only on making ends meet. Her teenage daughter (Alexandra Gentil) is growing distant as well. One day, while cleaning out a room, Hélène stumbles across a woman (Jennifer Beals) and man (Dominic Gould) playing a flirtatious game of chess together. Their happiness and sensuality captures the maid's imagination. Hélène decides to learn how to play chess, finally using her intellect in a way that satisfies her. To her delight, she has a natural talent for the game, but she knows she needs help to become truly great. Hélène knows of an American (Kevin Kline) who lives nearby. She seeks out his help, never knowing how much the chess games will change their lives.moreless

Metacritic Score

  • 90

    The New York Times Stephen Holden

    In small but significant ways, Queen to Play defies expectations. It dangles the possibility of an affair between Hélène and Kröger in games that the film likens to courtship ri...

  • 90

    Los Angeles Times Kenneth Turan

    It's the best kind of unforced filmmaking, able to make its points with delicacy and tact. And the best thing about it is that it is Bottaro's feature directing debut. We have a lo...

  • 80

    Variety Ronnie Scheib

    Like Sebastian Silva's "The Maid," Queen posits a radically different approach to class and gender empowerment.

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