Justinien Trouve, Ou Le Batard De Dieu (1993)

Run Time - 162 min.  |   Countries - France   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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If this engaging costume adventure is perhaps just one notch shy of being a full-fledged swashbuckler, it is only because it so lovingly recreates the era in which its story takes place. In the film, it is 1685 and a baby is being left on the steps of a monastery, but not before the mysterious cloaked horseman who brings it bites off the infant's nose and leaves a coin in its swaddling clothes. The baby, a boy, is fortunate to be placed with a loving woman and her able husband, a former pirate who still retains a lively spirit. The cheerful and charming boy learns to fence, to read, and to joust, all the while sporting a wooden nose. Eventually a local nobleman deigns to notice his existence, and sends him to attend a seminary which is grim beyond all imagining. Rather than suffer endlessly in the study of material he already knows with no prospect of being ordained (he is, after all, mutilated), Justinian (Pierre-Oliviar Mornas) runs away, and thereafter has one dashing, hair-raising adventure after another, eventually discovering his parentage. The story is based on the novel Dieu et nous seuls pouvons by Michel Folco.