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Molière (2007)

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Imprisoned for debt, playwright Molière is rescued by an aristocrat who needs his help in order to seduce a young marquise.

Director:

Laurent Tirard

Writers:

Laurent Tirard (scenario), Grégoire Vigneron (scenario)
3 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Romain Duris ... Jean-Baptiste Poquelin
Fabrice Luchini ... M. Jourdain
Laura Morante ... Elmire Jourdain
Edouard Baer ... Dorante
Ludivine Sagnier ... Célimène
Fanny Valette ... Henriette Jourdain
Gonzague Montuel Gonzague Montuel ... Valère
Gilian Petrovski Gilian Petrovski ... Thomas
Sophie-Charlotte Husson ... Madeleine Béjart
Anne Suarez ... Catherine de Brie
Annelise Hesme ... Marquise du Parc
Luc Tremblais Luc Tremblais ... Gros-René
Nicolas Vaude Nicolas Vaude ... Monsieur
Philippe du Janerand ... Bonnefoy
Isabelle Caubère Isabelle Caubère ... Toinette
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Storyline

In 1657, playwright/actor Molière, having been given a theater in the capital by the King, is back in Paris after touring the kingdom of France with his company of players. One day, a young lady asks him to follow her to the deathbed of her mother... Thirteen years earlier, Molière already runs a troupe but goes broke and is thrown to prison. Fortunately (?) his debt is covered by Monsieur Jourdain, a rich man who wants him to help him rehearse a one-act play he has written with a view to seducing a beautiful bright young widow, Célimène. As Jourdain is married to Elmire, and is the "respectable" father of two daughters his design must remain secret so Molière is introduced into the house as Tartuffe, an austere priest... Written by Guy Bellinger

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

1600s | deathbed | theater | prison | play | See All (32) »

Genres:

Comedy | History

Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

France

Language:

French

Release Date:

31 January 2007 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

As Aventuras de Molière See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

€16,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$32,601, 29 July 2007, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$634,277, 24 November 2007
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The production hired a beautiful ancient harp from the Museo dell'Arpa Victor Salvi (Italy); the harp is dated 1760, so it is actually much later than Moliere's time. See more »

Quotes

Célimène: What angel sent you to make us laugh like this? We're so dreadfully starved for entertainment.
Jean-Baptiste Poquelin: What, madame? I thought the greatest minds jostled their way in here.
Célimène: If you knew what we endured. It's often a draw between boredom and the grotesque. People jostle, yes, only to declare their unwanted passion. Like that poor Mr. Jourdain.
Jean-Baptiste Poquelin: Mr. Jourdain, you say?
Célimène: Imagine a farmyard rooster, disguised as a pheasant, sputtering rhymes in my face a child of eight would no longer dare read. You see my ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

References Molière (1978) See more »

Soundtracks

Ah, Madame, Je vous aime!
Lyrics by Christian Daumas, music based on a 17th Century tune
Performed by Henriette Jourdain (Fanny Valette) and Valère (Gonzague Montuel)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Molière in Love
4 October 2007 | by Red-125See all my reviews

Molière (2007), co-written and directed by Laurent Tirard, creatively fills a historical gap that exists in the biography of the playwright/actor Molière. Apparently, Molière was released from debtors prison, and did not rejoin his acting company for several months. The movie provides us with a fictional reconstruction of what went on during that time span.

Like many period films, this movie has high production values. The sets and costumes are glorious, and we are spared the usual obligatory images of filth and squalor. Instead, most of the film takes place in the château of the very wealthy M. Jourdain (Fabrice Luchini), and his dutiful--if somewhat bored--wife (Laura Morante). Ludivine Sagnier plays a wealthy young widow, the Marquise Célimène.

The plot revolves around M. Jourdain's worshipful love for the Marquise. The Marquise barely knows he exists and so M. Jourdain proposes to hire Molière to teach him how to make a good impression on the object of his desires. The Marquise is self-centered, vain, and proud, and M. Jourdain is a fool. However, he is a rich fool, and can afford to go where his whims take him. Molière accepts the job, and the film moves forward from there.

Romain Duris is very good as Molière. He reminds me of Johnny Depp, and, like Depp, he overplays his role in a humorous and enjoyable way . Fabrice Luchini is excellent as M. Jourdain--a man who has a wonderful wife but lusts after an unattainable and unlikeable woman. Laura Morante is outstanding as the wife, who lives with luxury but not with love. Ms. Morante is Italian, so it's not clear to me whether her voice was dubbed. In any case, she plays her role with skill and subtlety, and she has a presence that lights up the screen.

This film will remind you of "Shakespeare in Love" and "Becoming Jane." It tries to correlate the artist's experiences--about which we can only speculate--with his or her art, about which we know a great deal. It is obviously unlikely that we will ever learn what led Austen or Shakespeare or Molière to write their masterpieces. Because this vacuum exists, writers and directors are free to speculate about events, and present these speculations to us in the form of movies.

I enjoyed both "Shakespeare in Love" and "Becoming Jane," and I would put "Molière" into this same category--not a great film, but a very good film, and definitely worth seeing.


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