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Horseman On The Roof
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Genre:Art/Foreign
Year:1995
Rating:R
Country:France
Cast:Juliette Binoche and Olivier Martinez
Credits:Directed by Jean-Paul Rappeneau.

Six years after his "Cyrano de Bergerac," starring Gerard Depardieu, received worldwide acclaim as the definitive screen presentation of that literary classic, director Jean-Paul Rappeneau and his "Cyrano" team have worked their magic with another French treasure, Provencal novelist Jean Giono's "The Horseman on the Roof."

Set mostly in Provence during the infamous 1832 cholera epidemic, the story follows two strangers (Juliette Binoche and Olivier Martinez) brought together by circumstance, who join forces to find ways back to their respective homes. Obstacles in their path include military roadblocks, quarantines, assassins, and the ever-present hand of death.

Box Office critic Wade Major calls THE HORSEMAN ON THE ROOF "a ravishing spectacle of epic proportions," adding that it "ranks among the most satisfying imports to grace American screens in years, a rousing blend of swashbuckling adventure, chivalrous romance and intense human drama."

"The film buys our belief with beauty," according to New Republic critic Stanley Kauffmann. "First, the two principals are beautiful . . . Beyond the attraction of these two is the visual beauty of the film. Rappeneau shot most of it outdoors in southern France, and Thierry Arbogast's color camera enraptures us with mountain vistas and great meadows and charming villages and high-perched castles. In a delicate but firm way, the double beauty-of the principals and the landscape-seduces us into accepting the physical action. 'Why quibble about probabilities?' says this film. 'Let's make a deal: you believe, and we'll ravish you.' Done."

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