Jefferson in Paris
|Jefferson in Paris
|Jefferson in Paris
|Country of production
|Ruth Prawer Jhabvala
Andrew Marcus ,
Thomas Jefferson, the US ambassador to France , sympathizes with the revolutionary movement. At the same time he is made acquainted with the manners and customs of the aristocratic class, with which he is caught between both sides. Jefferson, who has just become a widower, meets Maria Cosway , who is married to a British snob. The two fall in love, but have to keep their relationship a secret.
Jefferson's daughter Patsy, who loves her father dearly, is upset that she should attend a Catholic school convention. Jefferson's younger daughter Polly arrives in Paris with the slave girl Sally . Sally is an attractive young woman who gets Jefferson's attention. Jefferson and Sally become friends. When Jefferson is called back to the United States, Sally becomes pregnant by Jefferson and wants to stay in Paris with her brother, who is also a slave in Jefferson's house. Jefferson wins them over for a return to Virginia by promising them and Sally's future children their freedom. Patsy, who - also in protest against the love affair between her father and Sally - had considered converting to the Catholic denomination, is reminded by Jefferson that in Virginia she is head of his house instead of the deceased mother and is urgently needed there. In this way the conflicts in the Jefferson house are finally resolved, which is in complete contrast to the revolutionary street fights of the looming French Revolution.
In a frame narration, this story is told to a journalist in 1831 by the son who emerged from the relationship between Jefferson and Sally.
Producer Ismail Merchant makes a cameo as a sultan's ambassador. Other small roles were prominently cast. So Vincent Cassel seen as Camille Desmoulins.
"Without tension, excessively long and ambiguous in relation to its protagonist, the film is convincing neither as an entertaining historical film nor as a portrait of a contradicting spirit", judged the lexicon of international film . Prisma said the film was “too superficial” with regard to “heavy weight issues like tradition and progress [...]”. This is "over long stretches in the detailed presentation of an opulent equipment" not without entertainment value, "but develops zero tension and is not convincing as a character portrait despite good actors". For Cinema , on the other hand, the film was an “[e] xquisite excursion into the 18th century”.
The German Film and Media Assessment FBW in Wiesbaden awarded the film the rating particularly valuable.
|Irina von Bentheim
|James Earl Jones
|King Louis XVI
|Adrienne de Lafayette
|Marquis de Lafayette
- Jefferson in Paris in the Internet Movie Database (English)
- Jefferson in Paris with Rotten Tomatoes (English)
- Information and photos about the film on merchantivory.com (English)