The King Is Dancing | Chicago Reader

The King Is Dancing

From childhood on, King Louis XIV of France fancied himself a nimble dancer, and this 2000 costume drama from Belgium chronicles the early decades of his close but uneasy friendship with court composer Jean-Baptiste Lully. Director Gerard Corbiau touches on palace politics (an Italian, Lully drew the ire of the queen mother and other jealous courtiers), the birth of French opera, and Lully's collaborations and quarrels with Moliere. But the film's historical reach is thwarted by frequent time-outs for lavish spectacles, musical interludes, and various debaucheries hinting at a homoerotic attraction between Lully and the king, both of them portrayed as vain poseurs. With Tcheky Karyo as Moliere. In French with subtitles. 115 min.

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