The Horseman on the Roof

"Excellent"

The Horseman on the Roof Review


You heard it here first: 1996 will be the year that puts French cinema back on the map, at long last. With both Purple Noon's re-release and the arrival of The Visitors (the highest-grossing French film of all time) later this year, we're guaranteed a couple of hits. But the first of these French delicacies to arrive will be The Horseman on the Roof.

Rumored to be the most expensive film ever shot in France, The Horseman on the Roof is the film adaptation of Jean Giono's popular novel of the same name. Directed by Cyrano de Bergerac's Jean-Paul Rappeneau, this tale of love and tragedy in 1830s France is an exquisite period piece, full of settings and photography as lush as its story line.

This story involves an Italian revolutionary named Angelo (Olivier Martinez), on the run from the law as well as the cholera epidemic that was sweeping Europe at the time. Forced into France to try to find his compatriots, Angelo takes refuge in the home of the mysterious Pauline (Juliette Binoche), and the two begin to grow close.

As the cholera sweeps across France as well, Angelo finds himself hunted by the locals, who fear him as a carrier of the disease. Together with Pauline, the two strike out across the countryside, each in search of their own peace.

The film, full of spectacular action scenes as well as touching or romantic moments between the two principals, is a careful blend of the two genres that works very well. Special kudos to the actors, especially Binoche, who plays her role as the noble woman with a cryptic goal (I won't give it away) superbly. The enormous cast of both speaking parts and extras is handled well, and the scenes are perfectly choreographed.

The Horseman's one flaw is its tendency to fall into what I call French Movie Syndrome, with the characters spending long stretches of time in monologues, reminiscing about characters and places we've never met or never seen. It's here that the viewer tends to doze off in hopes of a swordfight or a fire.

Otherwise, I have few complaints. The Horseman on the Roof should be accessible to the same audience that made Il Postino a success, and can be enjoyed by a wide range of viewers.

(Oh, and watch for a cameo by Gerard Depardieu.)

Aka Le Hussard Sur Le Toit.

That is not Ralph Macchio behind Juliette Binoche.



The Horseman on the Roof

Facts and Figures

Run time: 118 mins

In Theaters: Friday 6th October 1995

Box Office Worldwide: $15M

Budget: $35M

Production compaines: Canal+, Hachette Première, France 2 Cinéma

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 65%
Fresh: 13 Rotten: 7

IMDB: 7.1 / 10

Cast & Crew

Producer:

Starring: as Pauline de Théus, as Angelo Pardi, Pierre Arditi as Monsieur Peyrolle, as Le médecin, as Le commissaire de police de Manosque, as Le colporteur, as La préceptrice, Claudio Amendola as Maggionari, Christiane Cohendy as Mme Peyrolle, Tony Lemiere as Adrien Peyrolle, as Giuseppe, Laura Marinoni as Carla, as Laurent de Théus, as Mme Rigoard, Daniel Russo as Maître Rigoard, Françoise Hubert as Une villageoise, Richard Sammel as Un voyageur, Georges Neri as Le vieux moissonneur, Hervé Pierre as Brigadier Maugin, Hervé Pierre as Un sergent, Antonin Lebas-Joly as Edmond enfant, Jacques Sereys as Le vieux monsieur, Elisabeth Margoni as La femme du fermier, Christophe Odent as Monsieur Barthelemy, Jean-Marie Winling as Alexandre Petit, Michel Bellier as Un fugitif, as La grand-mère, Joëlle Sevilla as Une religieuse

Contactmusic


Links


Advertisement

New Movies

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

After the thunderous reception for J.J. Abrams' Episode VII: The Force Awakens two years ago,...

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Like the 2015 original, this comedy plays merrily with cliches to tell a silly story...

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

There's a somewhat contrived jauntiness to this blending of fact and fiction that may leave...

Ferdinand Movie Review

Ferdinand Movie Review

This animated comedy adventure is based on the beloved children's book, which was published in...

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Director Dave McCary makes a superb feature debut with this offbeat black comedy, which explores...

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

A dramatisation of the real-life clash between tennis icons Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs,...

Shot Caller Movie Review

Shot Caller Movie Review

There isn't much subtlety to this prison thriller, but it's edgy enough to hold the...

Advertisement
The Disaster Artist Movie Review

The Disaster Artist Movie Review

A hilariously outrageous story based on real events, this film recounts the making of the...

Stronger Movie Review

Stronger Movie Review

Based on a true story about the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, this looks like one...

Only the Brave Movie Review

Only the Brave Movie Review

Based on a genuinely moving true story, this film undercuts the realism by pushing its...

Wonder Movie Review

Wonder Movie Review

This film may be based on RJ Palacio's fictional bestseller, but it approaches its story...

Happy End  Movie Review

Happy End Movie Review

Austrian auteur Michael Haneke isn't known for his light touch, but rather for hard-hitting, award-winning...

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Seemingly from out of nowhere, this film generates perhaps the biggest smile of any movie...

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

A Victorian thriller with rather heavy echoes of Jack the Ripper, this film struggles to...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.