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Paris, 1920s. Marguerite Dumont is a wealthy woman, lover of the music and the opera. She loves to sing for her friends, although she's not a good singer. Both her friends and her husband have kept her fantasy. The problem begins when she decides to perform in front of a real audience.Written by
Never mind the parallels other reviewers have given to the American singer Florence Foster Jenkins. Director Xavier Giannoli has created a marvelous story which is operatic in it's own right! "Marguerite" is both funny and tragic as can be found in many classic operas. Catherine Frot brings the character Marguerite to life in such a believable way the viewer feels sorrow for her self imposed delusions on her ability to sing and her inability to see how her husband uses her and her so called society friends cater to her delusions even tho they themselves are laughing behind her back.
Her devoted butler, Madelbos, sees her as she sees herself - a grand opera singer who has performed all the great operatic female roles to perfection. Thus all the care and detail he contributes in her costumes and photos of her as if she actually performed these roles. Since her husband avoids her Marguerite has placed life into Madelbos's hands. Enter the two young journalist who meet Marguerite by sneaking into her estate during a fancy party to raise funds for the War Orphans charity. These two young men are very involved with the post WWI avant-garde movement in Paris and they find Marguerite to be both anti-establishment and uproarious. They write a glowing but tongue-in-cheek review of her singing. She reads it and is so taken with these two young men she befriends them and they in-turn introduce her to the underground art movement in Paris at that time. These people accept her as a performance artist and take her to heart.
So now Marguerite finds herself in two worlds, 1. The established moneyed society which patronize her and 2. The avant-garde art underground youth art culture. She experiences happiness, ambition, and excitement. Of course all this comes crashing down around her and she breaks under the reality. Her husband learns the hard way that he really loves her but it is too late. Her butler Madelbos could see this eventual end and is prepared to capture this bitter sweet moment.
What a wonderful movie, story, vision, Xavier Giannoli has brought to the screen. A delight to see, maybe painful to hear at times, but your heart will ride with Marguerite through her highs and lows, and be broken along with her friends that believed in her.
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