A chandelier crashes to the floor, missing a restless, midnight-roaming Louis XIV by inches. Is Del Boy Trotter in Versailles, by any chance? Is this Seuls les fous et les chevaux?
But even tumbling light fittings can’t wrest the king’s attentions away from solipsism as he debates endlessly with himself about, well, himself. Though it’s not long before there’s the familiar sound of kingly grunting as Louis once more makes the music of love with his heavily pregnant doxy. He looks and sounds like he’s pushing a wheelbarrow up a hill, so it’s not particularly erotic.
His brother, the splendidly camp Philippe, is cavorting with his Zoolander-ish buffoon of a boyfriend, but Louis wants him to marry a terrifically Sloane-y, hearty, horsey girl who he first claps eyes on as she wees at the side of the road.
Versailles is a towering croquembouche of cliché. But, mon dieu, it’s fun.
Alex Polizzi’s in what she calls the “beating heart of Spain” this week, starting with the “grown-up and self-assured” capital city of Madrid. The lavish Royal Palace makes her gasp in delight (oh, the chandeliers, the trompe l’oeil, the vases, the sweeping staircases) but watching a bullfight understandably leaves her feeling conflicted.
Then it’s on to Consuegra, inspiration for the Don Quixote character where she doesn’t tilt at windmills but simply admires them before meeting a wizened old priest who’s been building his cathedral for 55 years. It’s a little messy and haphazard, which the neat-and-tidy nature of Virgoan Polizzi finds hard to stomach.
But she seems totally at home in the university town of Salamanca, carousing with Tuna (traditional street musicians) in its rather elegant main square.
In its native France, this addictive series is called Les hommes de l’ombre – which, literally translated, means “the shadow men” – but I’m glad they changed it to Spin over here. Obviously, it’s politics, so spin doctors abound, but I like to think it’s because in any given scene, at least three of the characters are so panic stricken, quick-tempered and frenzied that they look like their heads might just spin clean off.
As ever, tonight’s episode simmers at fever pitch, as President Marjorie, his team, and his mistress, government minister Clémence Parodi, scramble to weather the media storm as photos are published of the pair in flagrante delicto. His estranged wife Elisabeth, out in the Middle East, only finds out when she sees the tabloids. Irresistible stuff.
This magnificently clever doc looks at the unsolved 1996 murder of child beauty pageant queen JonBenét Ramsey. Director Kitty Green auditions people to play the child in a drama, at the same time allowing them to reveal their theories about the case. A hard-to-forget look at our obsession with true crime.
This pure adrenaline-pumping entertainment of the highest order sees action man Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock trapped on a crowded LA bus that crazed extortionist Dennis Hopper has primed to explode if its speed falls below 50mph. Slipping smoothly into top gear from the nail-biting scene-setting opening, director Jan De Bont’s “Die Hard on the Buses” moves into the fast lane with a nonstop barrage of brilliantly filmed action, nerve-jangling thrills and death-defying stunts. Completely outrageous, over-the-top and as exciting as can be, this wild ride will make you wish your sofa came equipped with seat belts.
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