Watch Jefferson in Paris putlocker
||IMDB Rating: 5.7/10 from 2,368 votes
||Release: 31 March 1995 (USA) /
||Genre: Biography, Drama, History, Romance
||Director: James Ivory,
||Stars: Catherine Samie, Estelle Eonnet, Frédéric van den Driessche, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jean Rupert, Lionel Robert, Nick Nolte, Nicolas Silberg, Nigel Whitmey, Paolo Mantini, Seth Gilliam, Stanislas Carré de Malberg, Thandie Newton, Todd Boyce, Yvette Petit
||Synopsis: One of the obsessive speculations in American history is whether Thomas Jefferson, in the years before he became president, had an affair with (and fathered a child with) his 15-year-old slave Sally Hemings. JEFFERSON IN PARIS follows Jefferson to France (as the U.S. ambassador to the court of Louis XVI), following the death of his wife his friendships and flirtations with the French, his relationship with his daughters and slaves from home (especially Sally), against the backdrop of the beginning of the French Revolution. Written by Michael C. Berch <[email protected]>
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Watch Jefferson in Paris - Alternative Versions.
I wouldn't have been too surprised if Merchant and Ivory had attempted
to suit up Anthony Hopkins as Thomas Jefferson or perhaps even fitted
Hugh Grant with shoe lifts and an ersatz Viriginia accent for the role.
Instead they went with Nick Nolte - who at first glance seems an almost
equally unlikely choice. However the casting proved to be inspired for
Nolte does a remarkable job of capturing Jefferson during his stint as
U.S. ambassador to France on the the eve of the French Revolution.
Nolte effectively projects Jefferson's pride, intelligence and
intellectual curiosity............ and human frailties.
Most of what I read and heard about this movie led me to believe that
it was chiefly concerned with Jefferson's relationship with Sally
Hemmings (Thandie Newton) - However, there are other threads running
through that take up as much time and attention in this film. If there
is a central theme here it seems to be an examination of some of the
failures of Jefferson as a man of principle. Both Jefferson's public
and private ideals are put to the test during his stay in Paris. And
he, arguably fails on every count. However, somehow (at least for me)
he remains a sympathetic character-even with his many faults.
Early on in the film Jefferson is called to account by the liberal
French aristocrats that he associates with regarding the failure of the
American Revolution to address the issue of slavery. Jefferson admits
that slavery is evil (he even tried to have an anti-slavery clause
inserted in the Declaration of Independence) -but he has no answer when
the Frenchmen assert that the American Revolution was "incomplete".
The question of slavery also figures into Jefferson's rather ethereal
romance with the wife of an English painter (Mrs Cosway played by Greta
Scacci). When questioned about the matter he is only able to put her
off by simply saying that it would be impossible for a foreigner to
understand slavery as practiced in the American south.
Gwyenth Paltrow gives perhaps the best performance in the film as
Jefferson's troubled oldest daughter (Patsy). She sees her close
relationship with her father threatened by both Mrs Cosway and then
later by Sally Hemmings' appearance on the scene as the nursemaid to
Jefferson's younger daughter. Jefferson puts Patsy into a convent but
is later taken aback when she evidences an interest in converting to
Catholcism. The Mother Superior (Nancy Marchand) of the convent taunts
Jefferson, when he comes to retrieve his daughter. by pointing out that
freedom of religion is an idea (after all) championed in the U.S.
Constituion. The idea here, of course, is that Jefferson is being a
hypocrite once again by denying his daughter her own choice in the
matter. I must say though that the Mother Superior's jibes ring rather
hollow to me in as much as an 18th century Catholic nun would not be my
first choice to represent the voice of conscience regarding the
promotion of human liberty.
Thandie Newton may have the most difficult job here in so much as so
little is known about Sally Hemmings (We do get a couple scenes of
ineffective exposition in the guise of Sally's son (James Earl Jones)
being interviewed seventy years later). Newton chooses to play the
character very broadly and she comes across as quite believable in both
reflecting the speech and manners of a 15 year old slave girl fresh off
a Virginia Plantation (all the more remarkable since she is a 22 year
old Englishwoman---her accent only fails her in one scene I think). The
character of Sally Hemmings stands in sharp contrast to the almost
painful sophistication exhibited by the French nobility that Jefferson
associates with. I note that some posters on IMDb criticize Newton's
portrayal as lacking depth and even sinking at points to the
"stepanfetchit" level. I disagree. Newton- is showing us a confused
girl-far from home--and certainly a girl at times who has her own
It is obvious here that Merchant and Ivory are attempting to get us, at
every point in the picture, to question the character of
Jefferson--However,- the way the affair between he and Hemmings is
handled speaks much to the limit of how far the film-makers were
willing to go. The affair itself is still clouded by controversy but in
almost all circumstances, a 50 year old man having an affair with a 15
year old girl must be considered, at least, culpable if not criminal.
There really is no such thing as consensual sex between a slave and a
master. Since nobody really knows the hows and whys of the affair,
Merchant and Ivory had free license to present it in any light that
they wanted---and they chose to make (unrealistically in my view) Sally
Hemmings the sole initiator of the affair -- In fact, it's difficult to
picture Nolte's Jefferson as initiating the affair--much less forcing
it. I think that this version of events rather begs credulity.
As usual, Merchant and Ivory, have produced a movie that has wonderful
period details - the costumes and sets are at the very top of the line
in every way. The building storm of the revolution is set as the
backdrop to all that happens in the film. Mob scenes are inserted
between views into the luxury and leisure of the French nobility in an
effort to remind us that many of these extremely glib and well dressed
people will be without heads in the near future.
"Jefferson in Paris" offers a little something for everyone---History
-Romance----class and race conflict----take your pick....It's a movie
well worth watching.
Tags for Jefferson in Paris Full Movie
, Estelle Eonnet
, Frédéric van den Driessche
, Gwyneth Paltrow
, Jean Rupert
, Lionel Robert
, Nick Nolte
, Nicolas Silberg
, Nigel Whitmey
, Paolo Mantini
, Seth Gilliam
, Stanislas Carré de Malberg
, Thandie Newton
, Todd Boyce
, Yvette Petit
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