The Affair of the Necklace is a based (some would say very loosely based) on the true story of Jeanne St Remy de Valois (Hilary Swank), a Countess whose name was stripped from her by the French Crown during the late 18th Century. The story is of her fight to restore her name and place in society.
She marries the Compte de la Motte (Adrien Brody) in order to get a title which will admit her to court. Once there she thinks that she will be able to talk to Marie Antoinette (Joely Richardson) about her plight.
Rétaux de Vilette (Simon Baker) - a gigolo - helps the Countess to con Cardinal Louis de Rohan (Jonathan Pryce) into buying a diamond necklace for the Queen - a necklace which the Countess then keeps for herself.
The costumes are fabulous and Simon fills his very nicely. His English accent is excellent (although I can't help but wonder why the Director wanted English accents in a story based in France). In fact his voice is pretty much unrecognisable - I guess the strain of achieving a completely different accent affected his mouth and throat. I don't even remember hearing that lovely 'break' that his voice so often has.
IMO Hilary Swank was miscast, it probably sounds silly but she just doesn't look right in a period drama to me.