7.2/10
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11 user 7 critic

Let Joy Reign Supreme (1975)

Que la fête commence... (original title)
France, 1719. Louis 14th died four years ago, Philippe d'Orleans is the regent. He is a liberal and a libertine. His right-hand man, Dubois, an atheistic and cupid priest, as libertine as ... See full summary »

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5 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Le marquis de Pontcallec
Christine Pascal ...
Emilie
Alfred Adam ...
Le maréchal de Villeroy
Jean-Roger Caussimon ...
Le cardinal
Gérard Desarthe ...
Le duc de Bourbon / Duke of Bourbon
Michel Beaune ...
Le capitaine La Griollais
Monique Chaumette ...
La gouvernante de Pontcallec
François Dyrek ...
Montlouis
Jean-Paul Farré ...
Le père Burdo
...
La Fillon
Raymond Girard ...
Chirac
Jacques Hilling ...
L'abbé Gratellard
Bernard La Jarrige ...
Amaury de Lambilly
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Storyline

France, 1719. Louis 14th died four years ago, Philippe d'Orleans is the regent. He is a liberal and a libertine. His right-hand man, Dubois, an atheistic and cupid priest, as libertine as Philippe, tries to take advantage of a little rebellion lead by a Breton squire (Pontallec) and of the famine to become archbishop... Description of the life of the court in this period of transition where the French Revolution smoulders. Written by Yepok

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Genres:

Drama | History | War

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Release Date:

23 March 1975 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Let Joy Reign Supreme  »

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(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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User Reviews

 
great story, bad direction
10 August 2015 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This movie tackles heads-on a very interesting period in French history, when the nephew of Louis XIV , Philippe d'Orleans, was made regent for 10 years while Louis XV, a 5-year old child, waited for his majority. Its strength: the angle chosen by the scriptwriters, who encapsulate in 90 mn a sharp evaluation of the character of the Regent in the context of the era he lived in. The director makes the choice to shows us a man eager and able to do good for the country, while jaded in every other part of his life. The story is cynical and bawdy, but there is great wit in the dialogs, and very sharp moments of political observations relevant to the period (as well as to our modern period, frankly). We see the Powerful, the Entitled, the greedy, the ambitious and the scruple-free, and we occasionally glimpse at the rest: the Poor, brutalized and hopeless. I liked how the figure of Philippe d'Orleans, a libertine and miscreant who notoriously managed to govern France wisely against all odds, is humanized here by his keen intelligence of the facts around him, and how he grabs the viewers' empathy thanks to his self-awareness -and inherent compassion-while steeped in widespread decay. Whether, as a ruler, he deepened that general decay with his own turpitudes, or whether despair in front of its extent prevented him from fighting it is the question the film poses.

Unfortunately, this sharp attention to the character of Philippe is not given to the rest of the production. There is a feel of 'made for TV" movie about both the production and the casting. The main parts (Rochefort, Marielle and Noiret, Vlady) are wonderfully acted and utterly believable; but the rest of the cast feels like a bunch of extras hired on the run, thrown a costume and told to look and act "peasant", "soldier", "nun", "nude prostitute", "blind musician". I noted for instance that all the "starving" peasants look in fact well fed, and that the château's staff is forever statically sweeping the floor or pouring liquids in glasses. It seems no one cared to give them real directions, and that flaw distracted my attention too often. As a historical or political pamphlet, Let Joy Reign Supreme is truly a compelling movie to watch. But as a work of art, it left me wanting.


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