The French Minister (2014)
Average Rating: 6.6/10
Reviews Counted: 20
Fresh: 13 | Rotten: 7
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Average Rating: 6.2/10
Critic Reviews: 8
Fresh: 6 | Rotten: 2
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 3.3/5
User Ratings: 327
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.
Mar 21, 2014 Limited
Jul 28, 2014
Sundance Selects - Official Site
Alexandre Taillard d...
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Some of its references might be arcane but most are not, and its sly, satirical depiction of power has universal appeal.
Maybe the problem is that Tavernier has made a French comedy-but not a very universal one.
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.
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.
[Thierry Lhermitte's] energetic performance is by far the best reason to see the film, which should probably have been directed by somebody else [...]
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.
The neat twist is that the clownish minister perhaps isn't the goof we all think he is.
A witty, face-paced and audacious comedy about French diplomacy, politics, and the peculiarities of power.
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