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Sidse Babett Knudsen,
This is one of my favourite French comedies. At my opinion a real cult film. Apparently the critic already was savaging this film at its release. (But I could not find any historic critics in the web).
This film has all, what makes a French Comedy: Esprit, Tempo, Fantasy! Breathtaking! Brilliant Dialogues, unexpected dramatic turns. The director uses the techniques of exaggeration, "running gags" and scenic densification.
The plot: three old actors try to catch a job in a province tour of a boulevard comedy called "Scoubidou". They are ruined. But luckily they are real professionals of casting. What is more funny, than good actors playing bad actors? With all their ticks, their necessity to appear in the best light. If you know a little bit actors and theatre, you will laugh tears, as I do every time, watching this film.
Every actor has his quirk. Jean-Pierre Marielle (in the role of Georges Cox) is the roaring lion, always ready to leave the production and discuss his fee. Philippe Noiret in the role of Victor Vialat is playing the coward, with plenty of neurotic fears. Jean Rochefort (as Eddie Carpentier) plays the lover and enchanter. Really divine acting of all three. Also to mention the achievement of Catherine Jacob (as Carla Milo and in the theatre play as "Scoubidou"). You will never find such a good Prima Donna Assoluta in history of film! Believe me! And also the husband or lover of Carla is acting unforgettable: Michel Blanc (as tour producer Shapiron). His plan is to sabotage the tour already at the first performance, in causing an accident to Carla on scene, because he is chased by bailiffs and he counts to get the money out of the tour assurance. Even the little role of Juliette (Clotilde Courau) is played with great talent: remember the scene, when she wants to give up her actor's existence. She is crying and smiling same time! Unforgettable! Bravo!
Even the music is well chosen! The Gypsy music is integral part of the humour in this film. Also the music composed from Angélique Nachon et Jean-Claude Nachon is plenty of irony. I remember the scene, when the tour producer is coming out of the gun shop, with a giant, paper wrapped rifle, followed by Philippe Noiret accompanied by a music of a thriller. Ingenious!
Please don't let you fool by the bad reviews of this film! It is a hilarious comedy of a talented screen writer (Serge Frydman) and a highly talented director (Patrice Leconte).
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