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Queen to Play

A woman's life is reinvigorated by chess

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The gentle French romantic comedy featuring slightly rumpled but still beautiful intellectuals is almost a sub-genre of its own. Fans of such films should slip comfortably into Caroline Bottaro's low-key charmer, set on the scenic island of Corsica. There, Helene (Sandrine Bonnaire) works as a maid, and tends her mildly disaffected husband and teen-age daughter. A chance encounter with a chess set leads Helene to take up the game. Discovering an affinity for the strategic game, she enlists her employer, a grumpy professorial American (Kevin Kline), to play with her. And in a sweet twist, this game, so associated with the introspective and socially awkward, provides lively re-awakenings for Helene, her boss and family. In French, with subtitles. Starts Fri. July 1. Regent Square

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