The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc

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Sony Pictures Home Entertainment Released 1999

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Movie Summary

Director:
Luc Besson
Released:
1999
Rating:
R

The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc is the lush 1999 depiction of Joan of Arc (Milla Jovovich). In the early 1400s, France is a place of constant turmoil as the royal families battle one another for supremacy. Joan lived in a small remote village, born into a religious family, but the political conflicts leave a lasting impression when she witnesses the rape and murder of an older sister as a child. She begins to experience visions of God, which eventually lead her to the court of Charles VII (John Malkovich). She will reclaim his kingdom if he gives her an army. Was Joan a saint, mentally ill or simply a headstrong tomboy? Director Luc Besson ("The Fifth Element") takes a thoughtful approach to the complex story of Joan's life, triumphs and tragic death at the age of 19. The film allows the audience to experience the medieval era and draw their own conclusions about this remarkable historical figure.

Metacritic Score

  • 70

    Los Angeles Times Kenneth Turan

    Blends great cinematic energy with an awkwardly mixed multinational cast and aggressively over-modernized dialogue.

  • 70

    Variety Todd McCarthy

    The lack of a plausible leading lady is enough to sink what is otherwise an eye-catching, although heavily '90s-style, telling of one of history's most frequently filmed stories.

  • 50

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    The movie is a mess: a gassy costume epic with nobody at the center.

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    Categories

    Drama

    Themes

    Biography, Historical