Are we watching or not? Diane of Poitiers (France 2) | VL Media

It is a highly anticipated project that France 2 is broadcasting tonight, Diane de Poitiers with Isabelle Adjani and directed by Josée Dayan. Necessarily expected?

What is Diane de Poitiers? In the royal epic of Valois-Angoulême, in the midst of the Renaissance, a woman rides in the lead in the race for honours: her name is Diane de Poitiers, emeritus huntress whose unalterable beauty fuels rumors and legends during her lifetime… and long after. his death. Despite his unchallenged ascendancy over Henri, the youngest son of François Ier, his position at court remains fragile in the face of the powerful Anne de Pisseleu, the King’s favourite, who has a fierce hatred for him. Wasn’t Henry’s marriage to Catherine de Medici definitively compromising the dreams of Diana, who did not hesitate to compare herself to the goddess Artemis? Can the great Nostradamus himself predict Diane’s future? Can a simple courtesan, as cultured and political as she is, escape the suspicions of the inquisition which relentlessly hunts down Protestants and witches?

The essential

Diana of Poitiers marks the great return of Josée Dayan to the historical fresco that she knows well for having fully succeeded in the 90s with The count of Monte Cristo (TF1). It is also a mini-series that is part of the great tradition of French historical frescoes carried by a majestic cast here Isabelle Adjani, Samuel Labarthe, Virginie Ledoyen, Hugo Becker, Joeystarr, or even Jean-François Balmer and Jeanne Balibar. With Bruno Coulais on music, the mini-series has everything to win with an audience eager to find what made the great hours of French television and that we love so much! This portrait of Diana of Poitiers is part of a collection of portraits of important women in the history of France, ” The ambitious“, which France Télévisions presented as follows: it “tells the story of women who, through their journey, their courage or transgression, managed to get out of the role assigned to them“. In the same collection, we will find the biopic on Hinny and soon The Last Queen of Tahiti (very nice success all in sobriety and strength).

WE love

Once again, Josée Dayan demonstrates an undeniable know-how to mount powerful frescoes as she did in the past. She is the one who knows how to unite an incredible cast around her to make them work together. With Monte Cristo, she had managed to bring back to television talents who no longer came there, no doubt because what was offered to them did not satisfy them enough (it’s amusing by the way to see so many artists refuse to do television and rush to make Marleau which is the archetype of thriller TV as we see a lot). Once again here, the costumes are sublime, majestic and alone demonstrate the “greatness” of the project. Associated with sumptuous decorations, they confirm that nothing was left out to make this mini-series a total success… except that it never takes!

We love less

Diana of Poitiers is the perfect demonstration that the television series cannot be satisfied with the form, even if it were very successful, but must above all tell a story. The problem here is that we have the impression of never grasping what the series wants to tell us and that we are witnessing a series of scenes glued together without them telling anything. And it starts from the first sequence, out of nowhere, where a group of people nowadays visit the crypt where Diane de Poitiers rests and the visit is provided… by a robot… It’s put there, we don’t know at what it is for and we will never know. This first scene also lays the foundations of what the series should be, namely ” answer the mystery of Diane de Poitiers, understand why she became such a symbol » and although establishing this starting postulate, the series will never respond to it. Not even in a final scene at the end of the second part, a scene turning to the grotesque where we guess among the visitors to the crypt two visitors played by Hugo Becker and Isabelle Adjani (but nowadays) with this sentence pronounced by the robot : “Diane died of wanting to stay forever young » and Adjani to answer « Beauty is priceless “… As if to offer us a “grossss” wink at the end of the series?

It must be said that if the distribution is perfectly neat, we cannot say that they are all well directed – Hugo Becker and Samuel Labarthe are doing very well – but for the others, it is problematic. Including Adjani who never allows us to believe that she is Diane de Poitiers (apart from the problematic age difference between the actress and the character she plays), nor at the beginning when the character “starts” in this life , and even less in his last breaths where we have the impression of seeing the parody that Florence Foresti made of it in We are not lying.
In reality, we have the feeling that this mini-series is before a demonstration devoid of emotion. A bit like a singer with voice who only makes a vocal demonstration without giving body to the text she sings. Josée Dayan gives more the impression of having wanted to make a hit by turning Adjani, as Netflix had made a hit by turning Depardieu in Marseilles. It’s beautiful, it’s prestigious but that says nothing!

And such an observation is hard to say because we know that Dayan is capable of producing great and beautiful stories, we come back to this but his Monte Cristo was great in every way… except that it was 25 years ago and its style has obviously not been “modernized” over the years and that’s a real shame.
In 1972, the ORTF proposed an ambitious series on great History, namely The cursed kings. Whether Diana of Poitiers can at times remind us of it, yet it has neither the modernity nor the power!

Diana of Poitiers
2×90 minutes
“The Almost Queen” on November 7
“The more than queen” on November 14

Are we watching or not? Diane of Poitiers (France 2) | VL Media