The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc

France, 1425; the 13-year-old Joan of Arc has her first vision and years later embarks on a mission to throw the invading Englishmen out of her country. Director Luc Besson’s stab at delivering the ultimate screen version of this classic tale becomes too much of an overwhelming task. He has two and a half hours to tell the story of Joan’s life, but it still feels like he’s jumping too fast between her visions and miraculous accomplishments, none of them portrayed in a compelling way. Milla Jovovich tries hard, perhaps a little too hard, in the lead.

1999-France-U.S. 148 min. Color. Widescreen. Directed by Luc Besson. Screenplay: Andrew Birkin, Luc Besson. Cinematography: Thierry Arbogast. Cast: Milla Jovovich (Joan of Arc), John Malkovich (Charles VII), Faye Dunaway (Yolande of Aragon), Dustin Hoffman, Pascal Greggory, Vincent Cassel… Tchéky Karyo.

Trivia: French title: Jeanne d’Arc. The alternative version runs ten minutes longer. Kathryn Bigelow was allegedly considered for directing duties.

 

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