Synopsis by Clarke Fountain
History buffs will glory in the riches of Louis, Enfant Roi, others will perhaps find this complex story of intrigues and betrayals in the court of the young king tough sledding. When Louis the Fourteenth (1638-1715) was born, the power of government was shared between the monarchy, the church, the nobility, and the Parlement. His predecessor had greatly centralized the powers of government following the advice of Cardinal Richelieu. Louis XIV (often called "The Sun King" for the brilliance of his rule) followed the advice of Richelieu's successor, Cardinal Mazarin (Paolo Graziosi), and brought the powers of government under the sole sway of the monarch. He expanded the territory and influence of France in a series of wars throughout his reign. How he came to be so autocratic and ruthless both personally and politically is the subject of this biographical drama. When Louis (Maxime Mansion) was just ten years old, the Parlement of France refused to ratify a tax measure, and the disagreements between the various powers ruling the country came to a head in a long civil war known as "The Fronde," which lasted from 1648 to 1653. This movie tells how the intrigues and battles of this period appeared from the perspective of the young monarch. At first they are highly confusing for him, but gradually they become clearer, and he begins to emerge from the regency of his mother, Anne of Austria (Carmen Maura), to assert some of his own authority, making some grim and unpleasant decisions in the process.