Jefferson in Paris Jefferson in Paris (PG-13) In the painstakingly lavish new Merchant Ivory film, Thomas Jefferson (Nick Nolte) emerges as a figure of passionate contradictions. He's the… Jefferson in Paris Jefferson in Paris (PG-13) In the painstakingly lavish new Merchant Ivory film, Thomas Jefferson (Nick Nolte) emerges as a figure of passionate contradictions. He's the… PG-13 Drama Historical Nick Nolte Gwyneth Paltrow Ruth Prawer Jhabvala Ismail Merchant
Movie Review

Jefferson in Paris (1995)

MPAA Rating: PG-13
EW's GRADE
C

Details Rated: PG-13; Genres: Drama, Historical; With: Nick Nolte, Gwyneth Paltrow and Ruth Prawer Jhabvala

Jefferson in Paris (PG-13) In the painstakingly lavish new Merchant Ivory film, Thomas Jefferson (Nick Nolte) emerges as a figure of passionate contradictions. He's the philosopher-saint of the American Revolution, yet also a cultivated aristocrat. He falls in love with the elegant Anglo-Italian artiste Maria Cosway (Greta Scacchi), yet he begins sleeping with his 15-year- old slave, the childlike Sally Hemings (Thandie Newton). Set during the years 1784-89, when Jefferson was U.S. ambassador to France, Jefferson in Paris brings the cocoon of prerevolutionary Paris to vivid, eccentric life. For all its historical fascination, though, the film gradually loses the pulse of its characters. Thandie Newton's Sally is a beautiful, swaying flower who talks in dawdling Stepin Fetch-itese. There's only one explanation for why Jefferson would get involved with her-lust-and that's the one emotion that has no place in the Merchant Ivory universe. C ( 269, April 7) -OG

Originally posted Apr 14, 1995 Published in issue #270 Apr 14, 1995 Order article reprints
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