Joueuse (Queen to Play)
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Oscar (R) winner Kevin Kline (A Fish Called Wanda, The Ice Storm) and the luminous Sandrine Bonnaire (Vagabond, La Cérémonie) square off in this stylish and sophisticated dramedy of newfound passions and mid-life triumphs, set on the postcard-perfect isle of Corsica. Lovely, repressed and quietly intelligent, French chambermaid Hélène (Bonnaire) discovers her love for chess when, one day, she comes upon a couple (The L Word's Jennifer Beals and Marie Antoinette's Dominic Gould) engaged in an intense match. This obsession with the game, much to the chagrin of her husband and teenaged… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 69%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"[A] clever feel-good lark."
‑ Ronnie Scheib, Variety
"Maintains a wonderful balance between grit and grace."
‑ Calvin Wilson, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
"'Queen to Play' is a humble achievement."
‑ Landon Palmer, Film School Rejects
"Queen To Play, however, competes on a very high level as a story of an inner journey that's not simply black-and-white."
‑ Marjorie Baumgarten, Austin Chronicle
"Perhaps the only film in which a board game leads to a woman's happiness."
‑ Tricia Olszewski, Washington City Paper
"Subplots involving the heroine's resentful husband and rebellious teenage daughter never amount to much, though the story builds toward a satisfactory, if formulaic, climax."
‑ J. R. Jones, Chicago Reader
"Dull hokum."
‑ Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune
"We've seen it over and over in the movies, but "Play" has an understated charm and convincing performances - and a palpable love of chess - that makes it work well enough."
‑ Rob Thomas, Capital Times (Madison, WI)
"Subtle and formulaic in its own way as 'Rocky' (or, if you prefer, 'Searching for Bobby Fischer'), but it's a more cerebral, sophisticated use of the formula than usual."
‑ Frank Swietek, One Guy's Opinion
"The miraculous Sandrine Bonnaire, with help from the dependable Kevin Kline, transforms a routine heartwarmer scenario into a thing of beauty."
‑ Kelly Vance, East Bay Express
""Queen to Play" falls somewhat into the "Pygmalion" template, but watching Bonnaire's Helene find herself makes it worthy in its own right."
‑ Bill Goodykoontz, Arizona Republic
"There's something particularly enjoyable about settling into a film whose pleasures reside in quiet moments, understated performances and the reading of subtitles."
‑ Jen Chaney, Washington Post
"Nearly everything about Queen to Play works, but what really sells the film -- apart from the freshness of the subject matter -- lies in the performances."
‑ Ken Hanke, Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
"It's a little character study that really sneaks up on you."
‑ Chris Hewitt (St. Paul), St. Paul Pioneer Press
"A torpid story of a femme familiarizing herself with pawns and rooks."
‑ Gerald Peary, Boston Phoenix
More reviews for Joueuse (Queen to Play) on Rotten Tomatoes

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