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The French Minister

The French Minister (2014)

tomatometer

75

Average Rating: 6.2/10
Critic Reviews: 8
Fresh: 6 | Rotten: 2

No consensus yet.

audience

57

liked it
Average Rating: 3.3/5
User Ratings: 341

My Rating

Movie Info

Alexandre Taillard de Vorms is tall and impressive, a man with style, attractive to women. He also happens to be the Minister of Foreign Affairs for the land of enlightenment: France. With his silver mane and tanned, athletic body, he stalks the world stage, from the floor of the United Nations in New York to the powder keg of Oubanga. There, he calls on the powerful and invokes the mighty to bring peace, to calm the trigger-happy, and to cement his aura of Nobel Peace Prize winner-in-waiting.

Jul 28, 2014

$3.8k

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All Critics (20) | Top Critics (8) | Fresh (13) | Rotten (7)

There are enough moments of inspired lunacy to make this worthwhile.

April 10, 2014 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The films of Bertrand Tavernier have often been fringed with humor, of a rueful kind; now, in his seventies, and in a rousing rebuke to tranquillity, he has turned to farce.

March 31, 2014 Full Review Source: New Yorker
New Yorker
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Mr. Tavernier's filmmaking here is loose, almost casual, and you may not always notice what he's doing with the camera as he frames the ministry's choreographed chaos with its whirling people and parts.

March 20, 2014 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

In the first comedy of a 40-year career that includes A Sunday in the Country and The Princess of Montpensier, director and co-writer Bertrand Tavernier tries to do too much.

March 20, 2014 Full Review Source: NPR
NPR
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's pleasant, and at times very funny, but the meandering episodes mean that despite the long running time, the satire never builds to a payoff.

March 19, 2014 Full Review Source: New York Post
New York Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Mannered and often very funny, it's kind of like what an Iannucci production would be if all his characters suffered from the behavioral effects of toxoplasmosis - really, really French, in other words.

March 19, 2014 Full Review Source: Village Voice
Village Voice
Top Critic IconTop Critic

I think what I liked best is the way that Tavernier makes the film about Arthur's sentimental education and the universal tendency to dismiss politics as a triumph of style over substance.

August 1, 2014 Full Review Source: sbs.com.au
sbs.com.au

What the film is really missing, though, is a character like Malcolm Tucker. Without an angry Scotsman threatening to punch people into paralysis, the humour feels decidedly toothless.

July 21, 2014 Full Review Source: Concrete Playground
Concrete Playground

If you're not looking for something that puts politics to the sword, but merely uses it to provide a backdrop for some gently prodding humour,The French Minister will provide a chuckle or two.

July 17, 2014 Full Review Source: Flicks.co.nz
Flicks.co.nz

Some of its references might be arcane but most are not, and its sly, satirical depiction of power has universal appeal.

July 17, 2014 Full Review Source: Sydney Morning Herald
Sydney Morning Herald

Maybe the problem is that Tavernier has made a French comedy-but not a very universal one.

March 21, 2014 Full Review Source: RogerEbert.com
RogerEbert.com

Other than Tavernier's odd decision to draw Taillard de Worms with broad strokes, while sketching the remaining ensemble with considerable nuance, The French Minister has one big barrier to audiences who don't speak French: There are too many words.

March 20, 2014 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

Much of "The French Minister" is enjoyably brisk, Tavernier moving his camera and actors around the ministry's cramped offices and corridors with speed and grace.

March 18, 2014 Full Review Source: France24
France24

[Thierry Lhermitte's] energetic performance is by far the best reason to see the film, which should probably have been directed by somebody else [...]

March 18, 2014 Full Review Source: The Dissolve
The Dissolve

With its broad performances, rapid-fire pacing, and rampant visual and verbal gags, Bernard Tavernier's first out-and-out comedy doesn't try too hard to hide its graphic-novel origins.

March 16, 2014 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine
Slant Magazine

The neat twist is that the clownish minister perhaps isn't the goof we all think he is.

March 13, 2014 Full Review Source: Montreal Gazette
Montreal Gazette

A witty, face-paced and audacious comedy about French diplomacy, politics, and the peculiarities of power.

March 6, 2014 Full Review Source: Spirituality and Practice
Spirituality and Practice

Tavernier's adaptation of the cult comic strip, Quai d'Orsay, is episodic, insular and hard work for non-Francophiles.

March 3, 2014 Full Review Source: The List
The List

Audience Reviews for The French Minister

Saw the world premiere at TIFF this year and nearly died laughing. A must for In the Loop and Yes Minister fans. Full review coming soon.
September 10, 2013
danperry17

Super Reviewer

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Foreign Titles

  • Quai D'Orsay (DE)
  • Quai d'Orsay (UK)
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