Lucien Paumelle has been a human rights activist for decades and his relatives are not astonished when he announces that he is determined to help illegal immigrants by giving them shelter ... See full summary »
Anne Le Ny
Martin, an ex-Parisian well-heeled hipster passionate about Gustave Flaubert who settled into a Norman village as a baker, sees an English couple moving into a small farm nearby. Not only ... See full summary »
Michel Racine is a feared president of Assize Court, as strict with himself as with others. Everything changes when he meets again Ditte when she's selected as a juror in a criminal trial over which he presides.
Sidse Babett Knudsen,
A once great actor, Serge Tanneur (Fabrice Luchini), has retired from the limelight. Too much pressure meant that one day, he simply decided he would act no more. For the past three years, he has lived in solitude on the Île de Ré, spending his time cycling through the windswept landscape. Fellow actor Gauthier Valence (Lambert Wilson), whose career is flying high, is planning a production of Molière's play The Misanthrope and wants to offer Serge the role of Filinte. Gauthier is convinced he will accept, since Serge himself has become a misanthrope, withdrawn from society and raging against the world. It would be wonderful to see him return in that part. But Serge plays hard to get, first of all as he want to play the title role. Instead of committing, he suggests they rehearse together for the week. Things look to be going well, especially when a mysterious Italian divorcee (Maya Sansa) brings a romantic spark into his life. With the play's producer, Gauthier's agent and his lover ... Written by
A first-rate movie, but it will mean much less if you don't know Molière's play
This is a first-rate movie. I've seen it four or five times by now - I am using it in a class - and each time I watch it, I marvel anew at the talent of the two lead actors, two stars of today's French cinema, Lambert Wilson and Fabrice Lucchini, and the quality of the script.
One could summarize it by saying that it is the story of two actors who rehearse for a touring production of Molière's masterpiece, The Misanthrope. One, Serge, played by Lucchini, has become bitter in his lonely retirement. The other, Gauthier, is a financial and romantic success, but wants to accomplish something worthy of his artistic merits as well. In the course of rehearsing the play, both find that the words Molière gave to his misanthropic protagonist, Alceste, allow them to express their own growing hatred of the world around them.
If you don't know the play, I don't know how much of an effect this movie will make. Since the play is one of the classics of French theater, the director and producer could assume that many in their French audience would remember the play from their school days, the way at least some Americans are able to remember something about Hamlet from high school, and so understand what the two male leads are doing. If, because you don't know Molière's play, you can't do that, I don't know what you will get out of this very fine film.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?