6 thoughts on “A Tale of Two Joans

  1. My favorite Joan is the one starring Leelee Sobieski. However, my husband, who is a medievalist, says she probably did not actually wear armor at all.

  2. Actually, historians are now certain Joan did have armour specially made for her. She probably didn’t fight, but she did carry a blessed banner into battle, and was wounded by an arrow during the lifting of the siege of Orlean.

    As for my favourite Joan movie, I’ve only seen the Leelee Sobieski version, but I thought they romanticised it too much.

  3. I also loved the Leelee Sobieski version. It was probably the first period film I fell in love with. Saw it on television waaaay back in the day, and it basically prompted a love-affair with the whole idea of girls in armor. (My all-consuming addiction to Tamora Peirce novels definitely helped…)

  4. I have a lot of fondness for the Ingrid Bergman movie, but my favorite without doubt is La Passion de Jeanne d’Arc. It focuses exclusively on Joan’s trial and execution. As a result, there are no fancy costumes, and Joan’s outfit is a very simple tunic, hose, and boots. What’s interesting is that Carl Theodor Dreyer, the director, forbade makeup on the actors. When he met with Renee Maria Falconetti, who played Joan, he told her to come meet him without any makeup so he could see her natural face. It’s also one of the few films that depicts the shaving of Joan’s head. La Passion de Jeanne d’Arc is a haunting, emotionally grueling experience, and Falconetti’s portrayal of Joan is considered by many to be one of the greatest performances ever filmed.

  5. My favorite is Leelee Sobieski. Just because she was able to play the innocent girl. Most actresses were too old and could not represent the girl from the peasantry. Otherways the 1994-film “Jeanne la Pucelle I – Les Batailles/Les prisons” was very impressive too, especially the reflection of the battles, which were looking a lot more realistic than in other movies.

  6. The Messenger is flat-out trash attempting at pop psychology. Joan’s younger (not older, as shown in the film) sister was not murdered then raped by Burgundian soldiers, and due to this fantasy scene, the Messenger really shuts the door on the entire film regarding accuracy, since premise of the film is that Joan is out for revenge. She was never the bloodthirsty warrior portrayed here. She always begged the enemy to surrender before each battle, her fellow soldiers testified her intense compassion towards wounded and dying Englishmen, once disciplining her own men for mocking a dying British foot soldier before cradling his head as he died. None of the vision scenes are similar in any way to Joan’s descriptions. Her armor is accurate though- as a gift Charles VII personally financed her a suit of armor called “harnois blanc”, a style of armor that was simplistic unadorned, but very valuable.

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