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Last Days of Louis XIV

LA MORT DE LOUIS XIV, F/Spain/Portugal 2016, 115 min

Suffering and dying do not stop at the most powerful, even the absolute.


August 1715. After going for a walk, Louis XIV feels a pain in his leg. The next days, the king keeps fulfilling his duties and obligations, but his sleep is troubled and he has a serious fever. He barely eats and weakens increasingly. This is the start of the slow agony of the greatest king of France, surrounded by his relatives and doctors.


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Language: French, Subtitles: German

Press reviews

Six decades after he broke out with The 400 Blows, Cannes’ favourite son Jean-Pierre Léaud plays out the dying of the Sun King in a stately, majestic study of flesh and emblems from Catalonia’s Albert Serra: surely the most beautiful film at Cannes 2016. One of Sight & Sound’s best films of 2016. – Sight & Sound

Jean-Pierre Léaud gives the performance of his career in this powerful, intimate and moving account of the French king’s final days.
This quietly amazing film is conceived in terms of pure minimalist intimacy. Some might feel that it should be a stage play, and there is something Beckettian in it, a Happy Days for one lead character. But that would be to misread its eerie, closeup effects on faces. The candlelit sombreness makes it painterly, or more like a tableau vivant.
In what seems like real time, the film takes its audience through a historical event, the death of Louis XIV, placing us by the royal deathbed in the days and hours before he died in 1715 of a blood clot. Frowningly solicitous courtiers come and go. Murmuring physicians suppress their obvious terror of being blamed. Ladies-in-waiting simperingly attempt to keep His Majesty’s spirits up and greet his pathetic attempts at gallantry and good humour the way they might an infant doing his toilet training. And the king slowly dies. – The Guardian

Awards and Festivals

- Official selection Festival Cannes 2016 - Honorary Palme d'Or to Jean-Pierre Léaud
- Jean Vigo Award to Albert Serra 2016 - Best Film
- Lumières Awards - Best Actor, Best Cinematography
- Special Feroz Award 2017
- Gaudí Award 2017 - Best Costume to Nina Avramovic
- Gaudí Award - Best Hairdress and Makeup to Antoine Mansini and Marion Vissac
- Prix Lumière 2017 - Best actor Jean-Pierre Léaud
- Prix Lumière - Best Cinematographer to Jonathan Ricquebourg 
- Jerusalem Film Festival - The Wilf Family Foundation Award for Best International Film
- 19th Festival du film français, Czech Republic - Gran Prix 2016 Best Cinematographer Jonathan Ricquebourg (Ostrava Camera Oko)
- Filmfest München 2016
- Taipei Film Festival 2016
- New Zealand IFF 2016
- Melbourne IFF 2016
- Indifestival Saô Paulo & Belo Horizonte 2016
- Toronto International Film Festival 2016
- 54th New York Film Festival 2016
- Busan International Film Festival 2016
- BFI London Film Festival 2016
- Viennale 2016 
- Vancouver International Film Festival 2016
- 57th Thessaloniki International Film Festival
- Mar del Plata International Film Festival 2016
- International Film Festival Rotterdam 2017
- Istanbul FF, Turkey
- dOCUMENTA 14 – Keimena, Greece
- Göteborg IFF, Sweden 2017
- Milano Film Festival 2016
- 27º Festival Internacional de Cinéma Marseille
- 16th T-Mobile New Horizons, Wroclaw
- 14th Vladivostok, Pacific Meridian Festival
- Festival de Cine Espanyol en Toulouse 2016
- XIII Sevilla Festival de Cine Europeo 2016
- 23-FICValdivia, Chile
- Festival International du Film Independant de Bordeaux
- Film Festival Gent, Belgium
- Scanorama, Lithuania
- Yale University, New Haven
- Geneva International Film Festival, Tous Ecrans
- Festival de Cine de Cali, Colombia
- CINEUROPA, Santiago de Compostela
- Muestra de Cine Europeo Ciudad de Segovia 2016
- Around the World in 14 Films, Berlin
- 22nd Auteur Film Festival Belgrade, Serbie
- 17th Tbilisi Film Festival, Georgia
- 14th Human Rights Film Festival Zagreb, Croatie
- Costa Rica International Film Festival
- Korean Film Archive, Corée du Sud
- Gwanju Cinematheque Goa IFF, India
- Punta del Este, Uruguay 2017
- Franska Film Festival, Sweden
- Universidad Catolica de Chile
- New Horizons International Film Festival-Wroclaw 2019

Additional Texts

If LA MORT DE LOUIS XIV. seems more reverent than my past work, it’s because of the subject. In this story there’s a unity of time, a unity of space, a unity of action, a unity of character. It’s difficult to be iconoclastic here, without just being provocative with empty ideas. So there’s a more inherent homogeneity to the film. And in the end it might be more conventional, which I am a little bit ashamed of [laughs]. I’m sure everyone was expecting more crazy things. But this was the best possible edit for the film. If crazy ideas would have worked better for the film, then I would have done it. – Albert Serra


Albert Serra
Albert Serra, Thierry Lounas
Jean-Pierre Léaud, Patrick d’Assumçao, Marc Susini, Irène Silvagni, Bernard Belin, Jacques Henric
Director of Photography
Jonathan Ricquebourg
Julien Hogert, Artur Tort
Jordi Ribas, Anne Dupouy
Ariadne Ribas, Artur Tort, Albert Serra
Set Design
Sebastian Vogler
Costume Design
Nina Avramovic
Antoine Mancini
Marc Verdaguer
Visual effects
André Rosado, Xavier Pérez
1st AD
Maïa Difallah
Executive Producer
Claire Bonnefoy, Montse Triola
Thierry Lounas, Albert Serra, Joaquim Sapinho, Claire Bonnefoy
Produced by
Capricci Production
In Cooperation with
Rosa Filmes, Andergraun Films, Bobi Lux

German theatrical release

Distribution Details

German cinema distribution