The Affair of the Necklace is a 2001 film set in 18th Century France and based on historical events, directed by Charles Shyer and starring Hilary Swank, Jonathan Pryce, Christopher Walken, Simon Baker, Adrien Brody, Joely Richardson, and Brian Cox.
Jeanne de Saint-Rémy de Valois (Hayden Panettiere as a child, Swank as an adult) is orphaned as a young girl and determined to restore the wealth and privilege that was lost to her family; Marie Antoinette (Richardson) refuses to help her, so she - along with Rétaux de Villette (Baker) and her husband Nicolas (Brody) - set out to get it via other means. The necklace of the title was intended by King Louis XV for his mistress Madame du Barry, but he passed away before she could have it; the jewellers later tried to sell it to Marie Antoinette, but she refused. Jeanne's plan involves subterfuge to acquire the necklace and its jewels for herself and her conspirators, with unfortunate consequences—French Revolution-level unfortunate—for all concerned...
This film provides examples of:
- A Minor Kidroduction: Four minutes into the prologue show Jeanne as a preteen in the late 1760s.
- A Taste of the Lash: Happens to the countess.
- Artifact of Doom: The titular diamond necklace.
- Based on a True Story
- Corrupt the Cutie: Jeanne is painfully naive at first but having her legitimate request ignored and Retaux's influence corrupt her.
- Country Mouse: Jeanne when she first arrives in Versailles is said to be unsophisticated and unfashionable.
- Dances and Balls: After all it is the time of Marie Antoinette.
- Deadly Decadent Court: To the point where the peasant had enough and chopped their heads off.
- Dirty Old Monk: The Cardinal starts to lust after the queen.
- Disproportionate Retribution: Queen Marie Antoinette ignores Jeanne's overtures of friendship and Jeanne implicates the queen in a scandal.
- Fluffy Fashion Feathers: All the fashionable and elegant ladies of Versailles wear them. Including Jeanne as her fortunes improve.
- Historical Hero Upgrade: The real Jeanne was a straight-up con-artist and not nearly as sympathetic as the film makes out her to be.
- Horrible Judge of Character: The Cardinal believes Jeanne when she says she is a confidante of the queen. He also listens to his occultist.
- Impoverished Patrician: Jeanne
- Lady in Red: Adult Jeanne appears in a red dress during Marie Antoinette's performance in the Petit Trianon. While Retaux is intrigued the ladies of the court dismiss the dress as unfashionable.
- Never My Fault: Jeanne seems to have this mindset, Marie Antoinette calls her out on it.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Jeanne's plot eventually snowballed into the revolution.
- Nothing Personal: After her deception is discovered Jeanne tells Marie Antoinette that she never meant to harm her. The queen is visibly irritated.
- Off with His Head!
- The Queen's Latin: Although set in France, most of the principals speak with English accents.
- Rage Against the Reflection: Marie Antoinette hurls a vase toward a mirror when Cardinal de Rohan is found innocent by the parliament.
- Royal Blood: Jeanne is of the royal house of Valois. The Cardinal also is a prince of the house of Rohan.
- Shoot the Shaggy Dog
- Woman in White: A few of Marie Antoinette's outfits.
- Your Cheating Heart: Nicholas is a noted womanizer, and Jeanne cheats on him Retaux.