TITLE of Script: The Queen’s Coiffeur
Author NAME: Will Bashor
Type of screenplay: Feature
Marie Antoinette almost fainted at the sight of the red-hooded
executioner in her prison cell that cold morning and she recoiled with
horror when he asked her to turn around so he could cut her hair,
necessary to ensure that the guillotine’s blade would work properly.
_Her hair_. It was the talk of all Europe when she held her elaborate
court at Versailles. But it would be the last thing to go, and Leonard
Autié was the man responsible for the style that made Marie
Antoinette the envy of France. Unable to please the bourgeois ladies
of the quaint town of Bordeaux with his uncanny talent, Leonard
journeys to Paris in 1769—armed only with his tortoise-shell comb
and a big bundle of vanity. Lacking an apprenticeship and guild
membership, his new friend Fremont Lavier pushes him to freelance in
the theatre where his creativity wins accolades for the actress Julie
Niébert, his new mistress, and newfound fame for him in the French
press. And the fame does not subside. Despite relentless resistance
from the jealous Master Coiffeur Legros of the strict Parisian Guild,
Leonard works his way into the boudoirs of the noblest ladies of
Paris, including Madame du Barry, and eventually the newly arrived
Princess Marie Antoinette from Vienna. Amidst all the intrigue of
Versailles and the court’s excesses, Leonard’s coiffures for the new
queen Marie Antoinette skyrocket Leonard’s fame and fortune.
However, when the clouds of revolution appear on the horizon, Leonard
is attacked and almost killed for his ties with the royal family. He
is forced to choose between his loyalties to the queen or join Julie
and other royalists in exile. Leonard chooses to remain in Paris. When
Queen Marie Antoinette sends him on dangerous missions, she promises
him a title of nobility when she is once again on the throne. One of
the missions, however, involves playing banker to the royals in exile,
leaving Leonard penniless.
_Seventeen years later_. The monarchy is restored, and the hopeful
Leonard returns to Paris, but the new king ignores Leonard’s past
service, his loans to the royals, and the promise of nobility.
Instead, Leonard receives the lowly post of doorman to the king’s
brother. Unrelenting, the aging Leonard, now reunited with Julie,
concocts a ruse to achieve the recognition that he feels he deserves.
However, still seeking vengeance, Master Legros convinces the court to
give Leonard the honorary post as state funeral director, allowing him
to publicly ridicule Leonard. But it is too late–Leonard dies two
weeks later. Unexpectedly, to the utter astonishment of the royal
family, Leonard still has one more trick up his sleeve. With Julie and
Fremont’s help, the remarkable coiffeur of the court of Versailles
would be in the spotlight once again.