The Death of Louis XIV ★★


I can see why folks are impressed, but this is the kind of film that would be little harmed if most of its scenes were reshuffled in random order. Watching it is like spending a couple of hours staring at thousands of studies of the same Renaissance painting. Gorgeous to behold, and conceptually admirable, but each five minutes is the same five minutes. Everything we learn about the king is embodied in his rejection of desperately needed water because it's not served in a crystal glass. His doctors and attendants exude impotence and servility start to finish. Basically, I "got" the film early on and then endured another hour-plus of Serra repeating himself. Eschewing narrative is fine, but some sort of dynamism should take its place. This is the wrong medium for stasis.