New Release: Queen to Play DVD

Queen to Play movie scene

Kevin Kline teaches Sandrine Bonnaire the ins and outs of chess in Queen to Play.

Zeitgeist released the 2009 French comedy-drama Queen to Play, concerning a middle-age hotel maid who attempts to reinvent herself via the game of chess, on DVD on Aug. 16, 2011.

In the independent film, Helene (Sandrine Bonnaire, La Ceremonie), a maid in a chic Corsican hotel, spots a couple playing a sensual game of chess on their balcony and finds herself aroused. She attempts to fire up the desire of her husband Ande (Francis Renaud) by presenting him with an electronic chessboard but is met with bafflement.

Still captivated by the game, Helene convinces a reclusive American ex-patriot, Dr. Kroger (No Strings Attached‘s Kevin Kline, in a French-speaking role!) to instruct her in the ins and outs of the game. As her talent at chess emerges, Helene finds herself torn between her family and her new-found obsession with the game.

Queen to Play (originally titled “Joueuse” in its native France, which translates to “playful” in English) was written and directed by Caroline Bottaro and is based on the novel by Bertina Henrichs. The movie was screened at a bunch of Stateside and European film festivals before its limited release in U.S. theaters in early April.

Bonus features on the DVD, which carries a list price of $29.99, include a 20-minute making-of documentary that features interviews with the director and cast.

Here’s the film’s trailer:


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About Laurence

Founder and editor Laurence Lerman saw Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest when he was 13 years old and that’s all it took. He has been writing about film and video for more than a quarter of a century for magazines, anthologies, websites and most recently, Video Business magazine, where he served as the Reviews Editor for 15 years.