Joueuse (Queen to Play) (2011) - Rotten Tomatoes

Joueuse (Queen to Play)2011

Joueuse (Queen to Play) (2011)



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Movie Info

Oscar (R) winner Kevin Kline (A Fish Called Wanda, The Ice Storm) and the luminous Sandrine Bonnaire (Vagabond, La Cérémonie) 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 her love for chess when, one day, she comes upon a couple (The L Word's Jennifer Beals and Marie Antoinette's Dominic Gould) engaged in an intense match. This obsession with the game, 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. Based on Bertina Henrichs' acclaimed novel La Joueuse d'echec (The Chess Player), QUEEN TO PLAY is the auspicious feature film debut of French director and screenwriter Caroline Bottaro. -- (C) Zeitgeist

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Kevin Kline
as Kröger
Jennifer Beals
as L'Américaine
Alice Pol
as Natalia
Élisabeth Vitali
as Marie-Jeanne
Dominic Gould
as L'Américain
Daniel Martin
as Le président du club d'échecs
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News & Interviews for Joueuse (Queen to Play)

Critic Reviews for Joueuse (Queen to Play)

All Critics (41) | Top Critics (19)

[A] clever feel-good lark.

July 26, 2011 | Full Review…

Subplots involving the heroine's resentful husband and rebellious teenage daughter never amount to much, though the story builds toward a satisfactory, if formulaic, climax.

July 8, 2011 | Full Review…

"Queen to Play" falls somewhat into the "Pygmalion" template, but watching Bonnaire's Helene find herself makes it worthy in its own right.

June 30, 2011 | Rating: 3.5/5 | Full Review…

Maintains a wonderful balance between grit and grace.

June 17, 2011 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

There's something particularly enjoyable about settling into a film whose pleasures reside in quiet moments, understated performances and the reading of subtitles.

May 13, 2011 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

It's almost necessary to see it twice to really appreciate fully what's going on between Kline and Bonnaire's characters over the course of the film.

May 5, 2011 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Joueuse (Queen to Play)

A nice, quiet afternoon movie. No thrills. No excitement. A little slow, but interesting at the same time...something French films are famous for.

Cynthia S.
Cynthia S.

Super Reviewer

A wonderful story of a woman who finds herself capable of more than she ever imagined. Sandrine Bonnaire as Helene, a hotel chambermaid, and Kevin Kline as Doctor Kroger, her mentor, are marvelous. Her obsession with the game of chess forms the background for this story, but it is the interaction between these two characters that drives the narrative. Each seems to draw out the best in the other. Dr Kroger has shunned most human contact since the death of his wife, and Helene seems to be just going through the motions of her life. As the two find a common interest in the game of chess, they each find they have more to offer than either of them believed. Filmed in Corsica, the scenery is beautiful, the dialog is interesting, and a thorough knowledge of chess is not necessary to be able to appreciate the interplay between the two main characters. This viewer was enraptured.

Mark Abell
Mark Abell

Super Reviewer


An attempt to answer why the queen is more powerful than the king in the game of chess, Queen To Play intelligently explores the nature of midlife crises that often lead to transformed passions and self-discovery. Inspiring.

Jan Marc Macababayao
Jan Marc Macababayao

Super Reviewer

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