We all have our little moments of truth along the twisting paths of life. Just one of mine took place, when I was eleven years old.
Decidedly miserable with stomach cramps and a nasty little flu, I made a monumental decision. I no longer wanted to be a movie star, a dream I had nestled like a favorite doll in my soul for ‘all of my life’. Suddenly I realized that if I were a movie star, the entire world would know that I was pale and miserable and sick with the flu. Apparently my sense of decorum at that delicate age would not allow such highly personal life details to be made public.
And this has what … exactly … to do with France? I thought you would never ask!
We have launched ourselves inside of a new adventure – namely, watching Le Comte de Monte Cristo – the 1998, four-part series made for television and starring Gérard Depardieu. Yes, I am annoyed with Monsieur Depardieu and his abandonment of France for Russia, apparently unable to live within his considerable means and most unhappy with the government for wanting a greater share.
Back on track, though, I hasten to add that this film resurrects the intricate, swashbuckling tale of the esteemed Alexandre Dumas. In only the first two segments of the eight-hour saga, we have been to the notorious Chateau d’If on Marseille’s horizon, to Marseille itself and to Italy, Paris, and Auteil.
We have relished the Mediterranean expanses and traveled the countryside of France. We have stepped delicately through marble passageways and reveled in garden carriage rides in and around Paris.
Now, you see, don’t you? The ability to immerse myself in such entrancing stories and delightful locations would be great reward for the tiny embarrassment of having the world know I was seized with influenza. I am now willing to make that sacrifice and only await an invitation to read for the next movie to be filmed in France.
And however many of the numerous productions of Le Comte you may have seen, we recommend this particular series. The film reveals Dumas’ exceptional talent, French history and culture, a cast of considerable expertise and an entire menu of beautiful sights in France and Italy.