Kings and Queen

Kings and Queen (French: Rois et reine) is a 2004 French drama film directed by Arnaud Desplechin, starring Emmanuelle Devos and Mathieu Amalric. It won the Louis Delluc Prize, the Prix Méliès and the César Award for Best Actor. In addition, it was nominated for César awards for Best Film, Best Director, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Most Promising Actress and Best Writing.

Kings and Queen
French poster
Directed byArnaud Desplechin
Produced byPascal Caucheteux
Written byRoger Bohbot
Arnaud Desplechin
StarringEmmanuelle Devos
Mathieu Amalric
Catherine Deneuve
Noémie Lvovsky
Music byGrégoire Hetzel
CinematographyEric Gautier
Edited byLaurence Briaud
Distributed byBac Films
Release date
  • 22 December 2004 (2004-12-22) (France)
Running time
150 minutes
Budget$3,8 million
Box office$4,575,710[1]


Nora Cotterelle, a woman in her 30s is caring for her ill father, Louis Jenssens.

While Nora tries to present a facade that all is well with her life, she is twice divorced and has a son, Elias, whose father is dead. Elias has behavior problems caused by autism.

Nora's present relationship is not going well, and she is soon to marry a businessman, while Elias is becoming increasingly withdrawn.

A parallel storyline follows her former lover and second husband, Ismaël Vuillard, a musician, with whom she had lived for seven years. He is given to strange behaviour, and as a result he has been committed to a mental hospital, from which he is planning to escape.

Nora learns that her father's digestive problems are actually cancer, and facing her father's death, Nora desperately seeks out Ismaël to ask that he reconnect with Elias, but he has mixed feelings about adopting her son. Moreover, he has met Arielle, another patient.



On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 86% based on 57 reviews, and an average rating of 7.5/10. The website's consensus reads: "A dryly comic, stylistically brave film."[2] On Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating to reviews, the film has a weighted average score of 84 out of 100, based on 26 critics, indicating "universal acclaim".[3]

Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian gave the film 4 out of 5 stars, calling it "rich, complex and deeply pleasing".[4] Erica Abeel of Film Journal International wrote: "Its novelistic breadth, pitched intensity and on-the-fly shooting style pull the viewer smack-dab into the middle of these lives."[5]


  2. "Rois et Reine (Kings and Queen)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 30 January 2019.
  3. "Kings & Queen". Metacritic. Retrieved 30 January 2019.
  4. Bradshaw, Peter (10 June 2005). "Kings and Queen". The Guardian. Retrieved 30 January 2019.
  5. Abeel, Erica (11 May 2005). "Kings and Queen". Film Journal International. Retrieved 30 January 2019.
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