The Princess of Montpensier


Genres: Action, Drama, History

Hot & Now: Meek's Cutoff / The Princess of Montpensier

Transcript for Hot & Now: Meek's Cutoff / The Princess of Montpensier

Ok, now it’s time for our “HOT & NOW’ segment.  Here’s a look at some movies now available on DVD.

My Hot and Now pick is "Meek's Cutoff," a beautifully observant and thoughtful Western from director Kelly Reichardt. It follows three families who are following a guide along the Oregon Trail in 1845. Mr. Meek -- played by a charismatic Bruce Greenwood -- talks a big game. As it becomes clear that they're lost -- the families, including one of the wives, played by Michelle Williams, grow increasingly frustrated.
CLIP 2 -- Greenwood and Williams bicker
"Meek's Cutoff" is slow going, but its stillness and naturalism are riveting. The tension quietly percolates, especially when the wagon train comes across a Native American, which causes a division between the travelers over whether they should trust him. The film has been playing in New York but it opens in Los Angeles this weekend and goes wider across the country in upcoming weeks, so please check it out when it comes to your town.
Well, my pick for Hot & Now this week is THE PRINCESS OF MONTPENSIER, a new drama set in 16th century France. The princess of the title is Marie. Promised to the Prince of Montpensier, she only has eyes for his hotheaded rival, the Duc de Guise, and before long, she also attracts the attention of a number of other men, including the heir to the throne and even her tutor, the Comte de Chabannes, a Protestant soldier living under the protection of Marie’s Catholic family.
THE PRINCESS OF MONTPENSIER doesn’t have the sweeping pomp that we usually associate with costume dramas. Bertrand Tavernier cultivates an elegant, realistic style. This is first and foremost a movie about people whose feelings have become confused by the roles their culture has given them to play. I only wish there were more films about modern relationships that portrayed the feelings of their characters this intelligently. THE PRINCESS OF MONTPENSIER is available on demand from IFC and is also currently playing in select cities.