Molière (2007)

TOMATOMETER

AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: Moliere is a sophisticated, witty biopic of the great satirist.


Movie Info

In 1645, the French playwright and actor Jean-Baptiste Poquelin -- better known as Molière -- mysteriously disappeared for several weeks, and this lavish comedy drama imagines a scenario that could explain what may have happened to him. At this time, Molière (Romain Duris) is touring the French countryside with his traveling theater company, and he's yet to be recognized as one of the continent's great authors (or achieve significant financial success). Molière is put in jail after skipping out … More

Rating: PG-13 (for some sexual content)
Genre: Comedy
Directed By: ,
Written By: Laurent Tirard, Grégoire Vigneron, Fanny Valette, Jean-Claude Jay
In Theaters:
On DVD: Nov 20, 2007
Box Office: $0.5M
Runtime:
Sony Pictures Classics - Official Site

Cast


as Molière

as Elmire

as Dorante

as Henriette

as Dancing Master

as Painting Master

as Madeleine Bejart

as Catherine de Brie

as Marquise du Parc

as Gros-Rene

as Monsier

as Jean Poquelin

as Louis Bejart

as Notaire Dorante

as Huissier Delbosc

as Huissier Missonnier

as Louison Jourdain at ...

as Jourdain

as Precieuse 1
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for Molière

All Critics (90) | Top Critics (28)

Director and cowriter Laurent Tirard are clearly under the sway of Shakespeare in Love, but the talented Duris is miscast as the wily Moliere, and Moliere has none of Shakespeare's giddy charm.

Full Review… | August 24, 2007
Detroit Free Press
Top Critic

An extravagant and thoroughly irresistible story of intrigue, romance, comedy and artistic inspiration.

Full Review… | August 23, 2007
Washington Post
Top Critic

Lost in the exercise is any insight into Molière's writing or any relevance to today, making his achievements seem more frivolous -- and considerably less amusing -- than they actually were.

August 17, 2007
Miami Herald
Top Critic

Like the playwright's comedies, at its best Moliere shows the depths beneath the archetypes.

Full Review… | August 16, 2007
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic

Witty lines, sumptuous settings, manicured lawns and horses with carriages provide the setting for this frivolous romp that caresses history as it plays with the misadventures of French playwright Molière %u2026 With just the right balance of playfulness

Full Review… | April 26, 2008
Urban Cinefile

Deluxe tribute to the playwright gets by, surprisingly, as much by romantic poignancy as farce...it's hard to dislike a picture so in Love with its subject.

January 21, 2008
Groucho Reviews

Audience Reviews for Molière

Entertaining period comedy with beautiful sets and engaging acting. It tells the story of French playwright Molière's early days, as if they were indeed as farcical as his plays. C'est très drole!

RossCollinsUK
Ross Collins

Super Reviewer

[size=3]"Moliere," starring French dreamboat [b]Romain Duris[/b] as the legendary 17th-century playwright himself, is wonderfully funny and intelligent from first moment to last, all with a light joie de vivre that seems to be part of the French DNA.[/size]

[size=3][img]http://www.canoe.com/divertissement/cinema/entrevues/2007/04/09/molposter.jpg[/img][/size]

[size=3]I have heard grumblings from some critics who say that the film is simply a recapitulation of one of Moliere's plays. I can't comment on that, as I haven't read any of his work. What I do know is that this film is gorgeous, heart-felt, superbly acted and directed, surprising, witty and overflowing with life. I recommend it to anyone, except [/size][size=3]maybe to Moliere scholars, who presumably have seen it all before.[/size]

[size=3][img]http://www.sep7.ca/local/cache-vignettes/L520xH347/moliere2-e948d.jpg[/img][/size]

[size=3]The plot surrounds Moliere being rescued from debtors' prison by an extravagantly wealthy merchant named Monsieur Jourdain, who is striving to win the heart of a young, beautiful, well-educated Comtesse. Since he is married, this Comtesse would be his mistress. (The tradition of the mistress in France is like nothing we have in America. In France it is almost presumed that a married man would have a mistress -- or more recently, a boyfriend. Vive la France!)[/size]

[size=3]Jourdain, who is hilariously played by [b]Fabrice Luchini[/b], [/size][size=3]is hoping to captivate the ravishing Comtesse by writing a play that will impress her. [/size][size=3]Moliere is to move into Jourdain's immense chateau and tutor Jourdain without his family knowing. Moliere is to masquerade as a priest come to protect the soul of Jourdain's youngest daughter. [/size][size=3]Watching the ribald, devilish Moliere attempt to lead prayers was priceless.[/size]

[size=3]Complexities emerge when Moliere falls in love with Madame Jourdain and the erotic adventures of Jourdain's older daughter come to light. The local aristocrat also brings his own intrigues. Woven through all of it is the struggle within Moliere himself to trust his talent in all its oddness. When he tells the artistically minded Madame Jourdain that there is no such thing as comedy with philosophical depth, her response is simply and powerfully, "Then invent it." Would that all young artists had a Mme. Jourdain to inspire them.[/size]

[size=3]He does come to believe in himself, and nearly 400 years later we're still talking about him. That's pretty damn good.[/size]

[size=3]I'm sure anyone who sees this film will enjoy him or herself immensely. But I can't say it's a superior artistic accomplishment. Formally speaking, it's run of the mill. It stays completely within the established conventions of modern mainstream cinema. It doesn't show even the slightest bit of interest in charting new territory, formally or even thematically. It's a delight, but no one would call it artistically audacious. Thus I cannot rank it higher than an 8.[/size]

Bill D 2007
William Dunmyer

Super Reviewer

As someone else said somewhere, magnifique! This was like watching a Moliere play. All of the elements he later used are here. The actor disguised as a priest. The dilletante husband. The beautiful wife. The tutors for every subject then in vogue. The daughter who secretly loves the boy next door. The servants who turn a blind eye to the shenanigans around them. It's all there. As was shown at the end, after Moliere toured the countryside for many years, he returned to Paris and staged the comedic plays that this movie posits he lived during the historically unexplained absence of two years. Watch this and you may learn more about Moliere and his plays than you realize.

Mark Abell
Mark Abell

Super Reviewer

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