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Ridicule (1996)

7.4
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 5,135 users  
Reviews: 48 user | 33 critic

To get royal backing on a needed drainage project, a poor French lord must learn to play the delicate games of wit at court at Versailles.

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Title: Ridicule (1996)

Ridicule (1996) on IMDb 7.4/10

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 19 wins & 12 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Bernard Giraudeau ...
Bernard Dhéran ...
Monsieur de Montalieri
Carlo Brandt ...
Le Chevalier de Milletail
Jacques Mathou ...
Abbé de l'Epée
Urbain Cancelier ...
Albert Delpy ...
Baron de Guéret
Bruno Zanardi ...
Paul
Marie Pillet ...
Charlotte
Jacques Roman ...
Chevernoy
Philippe Magnan ...
Baron de Malenval
Maurice Chevit ...
Le Notaire
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Storyline

In the periwigged and opulent France of Louis XVI, an unwitting nobleman soon discovers that survival at court demands both a razor wit and an acid tongue. Written by Dawn M. Barclift

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Wit is the ultimate weapon. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for graphic nudity, some sexuality and brief violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

22 November 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ridicule  »

Box Office

Budget:

FRF 50,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$48,539 (USA) (22 November 1996)

Gross:

ITL 503,641,000 (Italy) (11 April 1997)
 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Opening film at the 1996 Cannes Film Festival. See more »

Quotes

Madame de Blayac: Learn to hide your insincerity, so I may yield without dishonor.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Very Important Pennis: Very Important Pennis: Part 3 (1997) See more »

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User Reviews

 
"Wit opens any door."
1 July 2007 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

Sometimes with movie distribution, as with humour, timing is everything. Patrice Leconte's Ridicule is a long way from the best work from almost anyone involved, yet still proved a major art-house success outside France, picking up Oscar and Golden Globe nomination for Best Foreign Film, winning a BAFTA as well as a nomination for the Palme D'Or at Cannes and winning four Cesars, including Best Film and Best Director, as well as another eight nominations in France itself. All of which leaves you with the suspicion that it couldn't have been up against much competition that year. It's certainly not a bad film, but at times it's almost as slight as its subject – the rules of wit and ridicule at the Court of Versailles under King Louis XVI, where you live or die by the readiness of your wit and where a single misstep can cast you into oblivion. Charles Berling is the impoverished minor aristocrat seeking royal patronage for a drainage project to stop his peasants from dropping like flies only to discover that the only way to get near to the King in a world where wit opens any door is to demonstrate a sharper and more malicious tongue than those around him. Tutored in the rules of engagement by Jean Rochefort's friendly courtier and both championed and checked by Fanny Ardant's court predator, he briefly finds himself a sensation in a world where honesty and wit are so rarely combined, only to find himself heading for a fall.

While it's a cut above the usual dry costume drama and passes the time more than pleasantly enough, it never quite escapes the feeling of a safe and predictable morality tale while at times the wit could be sharper and the venom more prominent. There are some fine good moments and Ardant gets a great screen entrance, her servants blowing powder over her naked body, but at the end of the day it manages to be a curious mixture of both a mildly satisfying diversion and slightly less than the sum of its parts. Very much like the Court of Versailles itself… Whereas Miramax's Region 1 DVD is bare-bones, Second Sight's UK PAL DVD boasts a fine 2.35:1 widescreen transfer as well as a good 52-minute documentary on the making of the film.


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