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L'Ivresse du pouvoir (Comedy of Power) (2006)



Average Rating: 6.4/10
Critic Reviews: 16
Fresh: 13 | Rotten: 3

No consensus yet.



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Average Rating: 3.1/5
User Ratings: 1,372

My Rating

Movie Info

Claude Chabrol's Comedy of Power stars Isabelle Huppert as a French judge who attempts to bring down the very powerful but corrupt CEO of a large corporation. As she digs deeper into the case, she uncovers criminal activity that stretches into the highest levels of government, and her life is turned upside down by death threats as well as her sudden celebrity. The film follows as her career affects her family. Loosely based on real events, Comedy of Power had its North American debut at the 2006

May 8, 2007

Koch Lorber Films - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (37) | Top Critics (17) | Fresh (29) | Rotten (7) | DVD (4)

No laughs - but still plenty to like in this diverting and insightful thriller that plays out in the higher echelons of the French judiciary and Parisian world of high business.

December 13, 2007 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It is long past time to recognize Claude Chabrol and Isabelle Huppert as one of the cinema's great actress-director collaborations.

April 20, 2007 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle
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A witty, timely drama.

March 2, 2007 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's not often that you see the craft of cinema so perfectly executed -- or a group of fancy scoundrels so ruthlessly caught and skewered. Comedy of Power, like all of [Cluade] Chabrol's Hitchcockian films, is dark, smart and delicious.

March 1, 2007 Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This movie can't commit to a genre, let alone a logical sequence or complete idea. But there is a wisdom in its blasé assessments and frivolous air: What's the point; where's the wine?

February 16, 2007 Full Review Source: Boston Globe
Boston Globe
Top Critic IconTop Critic

By the sheer strength of [Isabelle Huppert's] performance alone, Comedy of Power is Chabrol's best film since 1995's La Cérémonie.

February 3, 2007 Full Review Source: Time Out New York
Time Out New York
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Despite the title, there's no laugh-out-loud comedy in this mostly serious thriller.

March 21, 2009 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Very little happens, and it has the look of a TV movie; yet the pace never seems to let up, the screen never seems empty, and its grip on your attention doesn't falter.

December 14, 2007 Full Review Source: Independent

The script is dapper and the story slick. But it is Huppert who gives it heft, style and star power.

December 14, 2007 Full Review Source: Financial Times
Financial Times

Chabrol is intriguing and relevant, but the power and the comedy are dissipated.

December 14, 2007 Full Review Source: Guardian

A Comedy Of Power fails to dig deep into this idea, or into the life of its protagonist. It's largely left to the charismatic Huppert to make this sly but oddly slight drama a decent watch.

December 13, 2007 Full Review Source:

With Isabelle Huppert holding court and irresistibly dominating the proceedings, this is never really about the crimes she investigates - but it probably should have been, as the film, for all the quality of its performances, is a trial for the viewer.

December 6, 2007 Full Review Source: Film4

Chabrol film based on true life incident, the investigation of crooked executives at Elf Aquitaine, the French version of Enron. Isabelle Huppert is terrific starring as chief magistrate.

June 8, 2007 Full Review Source:

Chabrol observes the power games and intimidations with a matter-of-fact directness...

May 9, 2007 Full Review Source:

Chabrol manages a brisk, light tone, even though the movie is mostly talk, and Huppert turns in a powerhouse performance.

April 19, 2007 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

...explores how power is never really diminished - it just changes hands.

March 2, 2007 Full Review Source: Sun Publications (Chicago, IL)
Sun Publications (Chicago, IL)

Although Chabrol is celebrated as a master of suspense, his great movies, like this one and the underappreciated masterpiece Madame Bovary (also starring Huppert), meticulously expose the mechanisms of our entrapment.

March 1, 2007 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

Audience Reviews for L'Ivresse du pouvoir (Comedy of Power)

[font=Century Gothic]In "The Comedy of Power", Jeanne Charmant-Kilman(Isabelle Huppert), a judge investigating corruption, orchestrates the arrest of Humeau(Francois Berleand), a high-ranking official, and hopes to sweat the names of his cohorts out of him. But they are not that concerned, thinking that attention will be focused solely on him. On the home front, her husband, Philippe(Robin Renucci), a doctor, is less than supportive of her, while his nephew, Felix(Thomas Chabrol), shows up, looking for a place to crash.[/font]
[font=Century Gothic][/font]
[font=Century Gothic]"The Comedy of Power" is directed by Claude Chabrol in his usual matter-of-fact style. Ostensibly a legal procedural, the movie pays less attention to the facts of the case than to the characters involved. Through Isabelle Huppert's relaxed performance, it becomes clear that her character is doing something that she enjoys and is glad that she can make a difference by attacking corruption and breaking down the old boy network. By contrast, her husband has almost the opposite feelings about his job.[/font]
January 16, 2007
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

slow moving french film about the machinery of capitalism and one woman's determination to put a dent in the inherent corruption that lies within. Terrific acting by Huppert and Berland, but otherwise one soon realizes the futility of her struggle and the movie seems to slow down rather quickly, almost to a halt toward the end. Its an ok watch for the acting though.
January 12, 2010
alan jay

Super Reviewer

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Foreign Titles

  • Geheime Staatsaffären (DE)
  • A Comedy of Power (L'ivresse du pouvoir) (UK)
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