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If you’re into historical dramatizations, you might be the only audience for this film. Notice I said “dramatizations," not “dramas," because "Queen Marie of Romania" is more like a re-enactment or mockumentary than a true work of fiction that just happens to be based on history.

The cinematography, sets and costumes are luscious however, rendering the film watchable, while also providing a history lesson from a barely adequate acting ensemble.

Also a plus or minus, depending on how you look at it, is the fact that several different languages are spoken in the film, meaning nearly every viewer has to depend upon subtitles for the majority of the film, but I rather enjoyed learning the word for “thank you” across multiple tongues myself.

Queen Marie of Romania was known for her beauty and her independent streak according to this adaptation. She was also the granddaughter of Queen Victoria, with relationships all over Europe.

In the wake of World War I, Romania struggled for fair treatment in the League of Nations talks in Paris, so while balancing family and country, Queen Marie set off for Paris to surreptitiously influence those talks, in addition to enchanting the whole of France. Her Queenly charm used in this non-political way was Romania’s "Hail Mary" effort to once and for all cement greater Romania with the American president’s blessing.

She’s feminist for her time and the best moments of the film come when she sneaks in a comment about gender inclusivity or uses her more feminine attributes against the good old boy network. While every country in Europe was negotiating new borders, she was the one who actually got it done.

Overall though, these momentarily amusing exchanges, even coupled with a mild interest in learning about a lesser known country’s part in antiquity, are not enough to overcome what is just a dry history lesson no one was asking for.

Simonie Wilson, whose love of movies began as a child in the '70s going to drive-ins with her family, has been a resident of the Northland for more than a decade. She is a board member of the Kansas City Film Critics Circle and a Women Film Critics Circle member. She can be reached online at www.facebook.com/RedVineReviewer.

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