Queen to Play: Arthouse Chess Film

| 18 | Misc

It's not uncommon for films to feature scenes with chessboards on display, or even games being played (don't expect the board to be set up correctly, however).  Far more unusual is for a film to use chess as its main theme...

Queen To Play is a French/German film collaboration based on the popular debut novel "La joueuse d'échecs" (The Woman Who Plays Chess) by German-born Bertina Henrichs.  The synopsis:

Hélène, an inquisitive hotel maid in beautiful Corsica, France, becomes entranced by a vacationing couple as they play chess on the balcony of the Hotel Les Roches Rouges.

Tired of her humdrum existence, she quickly cultivates her curiosity for the game into an obsession. Her working-class husband Ange doesn't share her fascination with the game, so she employs the help of the American expat and retired Doctor Kroger whose house she cleans a few times a week. As her passion for the game increases, her natural talent and hard work (done mostly in secret) lead her to a chance at a championship and a new shot at life.

The American expat is played by Kevin Kline, with Sandrine Bonnaire taking the part of Hélène, and Francis Renaud as husband Ange. Also look out for a brief cameo from Jennifer Beals of Flashdance fame.

The reviews available are certainly positive (Miami Herald, Variety, Hollywood Reporter) so if you like some arthouse cinema along with your chess, it's one to look out for - if you can find it.  A DVD release in the US is planned for 24 November.

View the trailer below:

(H/T The Closet Grandmaster - again! Smile)

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