The gifted French director Benoît Jacquot specializes in movies about the emotions of young women. Adapted from Chantal Thomas’s novel, his new film explores the fading ruin of the French monarchy through the dazed, avid persective of a court servant, Sidonie Laborde (Léa Seydoux), employed as a reader for the imperial, self-regarding Marie Antoinette (Diane Kruger). Beginning on the morning of the Bastille uprising, Jacquot and cinematographer Romain Winding use the grandeur of the Versailles locations to weave a dreamy rhythm. The glancing style shrewdly meshes with the enveloping ambiguity and political uncertainty and gives a particular kick to the queen’s lascivious infatuation with the treacheriously beautiful aristrocrat Gabrielle (Virginie Ledoyen). Jacquot subtly shifts the movie’s force and moral inquiry towards Seydoux, and her alert performance provides a melancholy humanity.