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Looking for a refuge from the scorching heat of big summer movies? Then enter cool French New Wave director Eric Rohmer's visit to 18th-century France and the visually stunning story of Grace Elliott, a British woman living in Paris during the Revolution. A stubborn royalist, she can't stop talking (a Rohmer trademark) to anyone who will listen about her devotion to the king, even as her friends are being guillotined all around her.
It's good enough that Rohmer has made a square, smart, wordy period film about people in corsets and powdered wigs. But the 81-year-old director goes one better by incorporating unexpected digital effects: All exterior shots are paintings (some classics) and the actors are digitally placed inside them. It doesn't look real, but it looks marvelously unreal, a perfect marriage of low and high tech. A total off-with-your-head trip.