Loosely based on a true story, Marshall Herskovitz’s film is set in 16th-century Venice, where strict rules rather than love dictate who may marry whom. Veronica Franco (Catherine McCormack) and Marco Venier (Rufus Sewell) love each other but he is a nobleman’s son and she is beneath his station.
Her mother (Jacqueline Bisset) advises her to follow her path and become a courtesan and soon Franco is one of the most sought after women in Venice. But when plague strikes the city, she and her fellow courtesans are accused of bringing death by witchcraft and only her bravery and intelligence in court can save her. McCormack is luminescent as Franco and Herkovitz conjures up a beautiful vision of Venice at the time in a drama that combines feminism, eroticism and romance.
USA | 111 minutes | 1998
Director: Marshall Herskovitz
Script: Jeannine Dominy,
Naomi Watts as Giulia De Lezze
Oliver Platt as Maffio Venier
Jake Weber as King Henry
Catherine McCormack as Veronica Franco
Rufus Sewell as Marco Venier
Jacqueline Bisset as Paola Franco
Patrizia Leonet as Courtesan