Newest Reviews
Offering, The
Enola Holmes
Big Calamity, The
Man Under Table
Freedom Fields
Boy Behind the Door, The
Swords of the Space Ark
I Still See You
Most Beautiful Boy in the World, The
Luz: The Flower of Evil
Human Voice, The
Guns Akimbo
Being a Human Person
Giants and Toys
Millionaires Express
Bringing Up Baby
World to Come, The
Air Conditioner
Fear and Loathing in Aspen
Riders of Justice
Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Maki, The
For Those Who Think Young
Justice League: War
Fuzzy Pink Nightgown, The
Scooby-Doo! Moon Monster Madness
Night of the Sharks
Werewolves Within
King and Four Queens, The
Stray Dolls
Diana's Wedding
Toll, The
Two of Us
Nowhere Special
Rainbow Jacket, The
Newest Articles
A Monument to All the Bullshit in the World: 1970s Disaster Movies
Take Care with Peanuts: Interview with Melissa Menta (SVP of Marketing)
Silent is Golden: Futtocks End... and Other Short Stories on Blu-ray
Winner on Losers: West 11 on Blu-ray
Freewheelin' - Bob Dylan: Odds and Ends on Digital
Never Sleep: The Night of the Hunter on Blu-ray
Sherlock vs Ripper: Murder by Decree on Blu-ray
That Ol' Black Magic: Encounter of the Spooky Kind on Blu-ray
She's Evil! She's Brilliant! Basic Instinct on Blu-ray
Hong Kong Dreamin': World of Wong Kar Wai on Blu-ray
Buckle Your Swash: The Devil-Ship Pirates on Blu-ray
Way of the Exploding Fist: One Armed Boxer on Blu-ray
A Lot of Growing Up to Do: Fast Times at Ridgemont High on Blu-ray
Oh My Godard: Masculin Feminin on Blu-ray
Let Us Play: Play for Today Volume 2 on Blu-ray
Before The Matrix, There was Johnny Mnemonic: on Digital
More Than Mad Science: Karloff at Columbia on Blu-ray
Indian Summer: The Darjeeling Limited on Blu-ray
3 from 1950s Hollyweird: Dr. T, Mankind and Plan 9
Meiko Kaji's Girl Gangs: Stray Cat Rock on Arrow
Having a Wild Weekend: Catch Us If You Can on Blu-ray
The Drifters: Star Lucie Bourdeu Interview
Meiko Kaji Behind Bars: Female Prisoner Scorpion on Arrow
The Horror of the Soviets: Viy on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Tarka the Otter and The Belstone Fox
  Jeanette: The Childhood of Joan of Arc Joan Of Arc Sings The Hits
Year: 2017
Director: Bruno Dumont
Stars: Lisa Leplat Prudhomme, Jeanne Voisin, Lucille Gauthier, Victoria Lefebvre, Aline Charles, Elise Charles, Nicolas Leclaire, Gerry De Poorter, Regine Delalin, Anais Riviere, Kyliann Marechal Tellier, Malone Leroy, Maxime Boulanger, Jonathan Leguen
Genre: Musical, Weirdo, HistoricalBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Jeannette (Lisa Leplat Prudhomme) is a deeply religious little French girl in the early fourteen-hundreds, around the time of the Hundred Years' War which she would dearly love to put an end to by driving the English from France. But how could she do this? She believes if she prays hard enough to God, Jesus Christ and her favourite saints she can turn the tide of events, though she remains a young shepherdess out in the middle of nowhere with nothing but her sheep to keep her company, that is apart from the occasional visits from her friend Hauviette (Lucille Gauthier) and others who pass through. Being a charitable type, she has given up her bread to two boys - is that enough?

Bruno Dumont remained an enigma once again in French cinema with an account of Joan of Arc that did not include any war, any trial, or indeed any burning at the stake, but in its place was a lot of amateurish singing and dancing to heavy metal rock opera. If the prospect of watching almost two hours of that, all shot on what looks like the same side of a hill and its surrounding countryside, made you suddenly remember you had other plans, perhaps bear in mind that this could have been intended as a comedy, as Monty Python and the Holy Grail had been, though considering how difficult it was to tell, you would understand if not everyone found it a laugh riot, if indeed that was the point.

Would a Frenchman make a film taking the mickey out of Joan of Arc anyway? Even if there was purposeful humour, Dumont had covered himself by putting the lyrics into his characters' mouths of devout religious meaning, all to explain what turned the little girl into the Christian crusader who may or may not have suffered severe hallucinations she mistook for the act of God. Or maybe this was God's method of moving through her, in his mysterious way? Again, this was so poker faced that you could put a number of interpretations on it, including one that posited Joan as one of the original metal goddesses, as time and again she breaks out into bouts of hair-swinging headbanging.

All along with the crunching guitars and hammering drums on the soundtrack (there were also electronic interludes, in case this wasn't absurd enough). There were two versions of Joan, or Jeannette, the teenage one played by Jeanne Voisin, as we jump around the halfway mark to then events just before she decided to go off and lead her insurgency, but this was so low budget that while there were some attractive shots of the landscape, that was mostly all you got, with one scene set indoors. All the while, the small cast pranced about in the style of a community play put on in the outdoors because the town hall had been closed for renovations, except there was no audience, and very occasional effects, such as a vision of saints doing the Batusi.

If you were paying attention to those words, you would make out the religious themes as to how Joan could justify her impassioned belief in her country and fellow populace as there on Earth by divine right, and how that fuels a war that lasts a century. But if there is such a thing as sarcastic sheep, then by God they were present here, interrupting the sincerity with a snide "BAA!" at every opportunity, as if to remind us had Dumont's camera not been there, Joan's praying and visions would have looked a lot like a lonely, solitary girl going quietly mad among her flock. Some of this was undeniably chuckle-inducing, but as it presented Joan as going off to her early death in the frame of mind that it was her idea to be martyred in an "I meant to do that!" sort of way, it did seem to be making light of a very sad set of circumstances that may have passed into national legend, but remained the story of a teenage girl who was murdered for no good reason, and encouraged into that demise too. Which might be metal, but it's also tragic. Also, what's with the fixation on her bare feet?

Aka: Jeannette, l'enfance de Jeanne d'Arc

[Click here to watch on MUBI.]
Reviewer: Graeme Clark


This review has been viewed 134 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

Review Comments (0)

Untitled 1

Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf


Last Updated: