When Nathaniel announced that "Queen Margot" would be this week's featured film for Hit me with your best shot, I approached it with the assumption that it would be a somewhat stuffy, restrained piece of work. Obviously, I had know idea what I was in for with this uncharacteristically ferocious 16th century historical drama. Sure, this gorgeously wrought film begins with Isabelle Adjani (Queen Margot) looking buttoned up and elegant in her full wedding regalia. But she and the film itself soon let their hair down to deliver one of the most sinful films centered around religion.
Indeed, much of the film follows - in vivid, bloody detail - the aftermath of an act of genocide by the ruling Catholics over the Protestant Hugenots during the French Wars of Religion. And all throughout we see a lusty, violent, damning portrait of an unholy alliance between religion and politics. It's staggering stuff, at once starkly beautiful and bracingly brutal.
My choice for best shot reflects this dichotomy, with this beautifully composed, yet harrowing image at the end of the film. In it, Queen Margot stands over a pair of decapitated bodies, one of which is her lover. It's all of the film's romance and savagery distilled into one shot.
Click below for my favourite shot...