Focused on the King’s final hours, Serra’s film rarely strays beyond the bed chamber in which Louis is ensconced, recording every detail as the Sun King, surrounded by courtiers and fawning doctors, gradually but relentlessly declines toward death. Sombre, beautifully shot and at times bleakly funny, The Death of Louis XIV is an unflinching portrait of a once all powerful man’s death, with a towering performance by Leaud - whose film career began as the misunderstood 13 year old, Antoine Doinel, in Truffaut’s The 400 Blows - here playing the 78 year old king.
“Jean-Pierre Leaud gives the performance of his career in this powerful, intimate and moving account of the French king’s final days.” Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
- Newlyn Filmhouse
France/Portugal/Spain 2016 115m subtitles