While watching the new movie “Chevalier”, a true story of composer Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges, the illegitimate son of an African slave and a French plantation owner – I kept thinking about the risk this man was taking in the late 1700’s France, given that he was half black. Due to his amazing musical talent as a musician, violin player, and composer, he was given much more leeway than any other black person of that era. However, Joseph Bologne took risk after risk, including having an affair with the married woman of a powerful political rival, that if this were not a true story, It would be hard to believe that anyone would risk their life so blatantly, even if they were white.
I thought that the story was well told, but too boring and slow-moving in too many areas. The acting was good, with the only known actor in this production Minnie Driver, and the main character played by Kelvin Harrison Jr. With all movies about the 1700’s and 1800s it is still hard to believe that the style in those days, was for everybody to wear a huge wig. Why this happened, over the centuries is anybody’s guess. For the most part, everybody looks ridiculous, especially the men in those days.
There are some good references to French history, including frequent appearances by Marie Antoinette played very well by Lucy Boynton.
Overall, I give this film a marginal recommendation, which is in the area of the 81% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.