At 73, France's ex-president, Emile Beaufort, faces declining health, but he still plays a vigorous role behind the scenes as a philosopher and, potentially, as a power broker. In ... See full summary »
At 73, France's ex-president, Emile Beaufort, faces declining health, but he still plays a vigorous role behind the scenes as a philosopher and, potentially, as a power broker. In particular, his relationship with Philippe Chalamont comes into play: Chalamont seems in line to be the next Prime Minister, and Beaufort's history with him is long, deep, and problematic. As Beaufort dictates his memoirs, his narrative take us to occasions, 15 and 20 years before, in which Chalamont and he clashed. Chalamont is not without talent and guile: he comes directly to Beaufort to see if they can sort things out. What will Beaufort, ill health and all, do? Written by
"Rest is the privilege of the youth... I don't have that luxury"
To watch this movie, I needed (i) some free time on a rainy afternoon to think about and enjoy an intelligently made film, (ii) to know some early films with the following names : Audiard, Blier, Gabin, etc. (iii) to refresh my knowledge of France's former institutions. This film got me to that point when you like what you're watching so much that you end up taking notes while watching it. The more I see Blier in his films, the more I like him. He plays once more a supporting part, but he is great as the ambitious ambivalent mischievous politician. Gabin tends to recycle the style of his former parts. However if you take into account the fact that he actually plays a mix of three different politicians (Clémenceau, Jaurès and De Gaulle), it is in the end actually quite understandable to see him depicted as a role model for all politicians, always having the right word with the right occurrence. Although you might object on some of the aspects of his economic policy, which was actually applied during these years, he is respectable and righteous. And there is this moment of anthology where he speaks before the congressmen, which is instructive politically and cinematographically. The movie is well constructed. The pace is rather slow, but it is to emphasize on the dialogs, since they tend to be all efficient in every scenes. Politically the film is quite puzzling, since some of the issues raised are somehow still debated today, and this after some 70 years, while depicting accurately the role and the quirks of politicians and insisting on their duties as men elected from the people. This movie is well directed and actually allows you to remember it after seeing it. The movie manages to be entertaining and instructive. Go for it.
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