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All Critics (31)
| Top Critics (18)
| Fresh (23)
| Rotten (8)
The Sarkozy story glistens, snakelike.
The dialogue is punchy, but the film lacks visual personality, and the insights into Sarkozy and France as a whole don't cut very deep.
"The Conquest" is like a French restaurant that serves small portions of tart appetizers and calls them freedom fries, yet begrudgingly we must salute the gall.
Too often ... the jaunty, overeager background music seems to be underscoring jokes the action doesn't provide.
Sarkozy seems to mean exactly what he says, even when he's lying for his cause, and Podalydès has the skill to demonstrate that.
The film is a vehement drama and a fitfully amusing snark fest set to Nicola Piovani's jaunty circus music. It winds up only half-succeeding at both.
The Conquest does not aspire to Shakespearean heights (press notes to the contrary) but remains more on the level of a well-made movie of the week...
Maybe a documentary would have done the job better.
The performances are convincing, but American audiences may find little to care about in the Gallic-specific backstage machinations of Sarkozy's ascendancy.
Denis Podalydès seems to be more like Nicolas Sarkozy than the president himself is this political tragi-comedy.
This delicious satire daring to depict current French President Nicolas Sarkozy's recent rise to power is a real upscale art-house pleaser.
A glimpse of the glory and the loss in the rise to power of Nicholas Sarkozy, the president of France.
As Nicholas Sarkozy(Denis Podalydes) wakes up on election day in 2007, it starts out well enough as he wins the vote in New York and Israel. But he is still worrying about the whereabouts of his wife Cecilia(Florence Pernel) and more importantly whether or not she will be voting with him. However, that is nothing compared to five years previously when President Jacques Chirac(Bernard Le Coq), feeling Sarkozy would only lose in a national election due to his conservative politics, chooses Dominique de Villepin(Samuel Labarthe) to be Prime Minister, leaving the Ministry of Interior to Sarkozy.
"The Conquest" seeks to dramatize Sarkozy's rise to power by also undermining him by showing that the only way he got elected was in the media's preference of personality over policy. While possibly not wrong, it is a neat trick that the movie never quite pulls off, as it also falls into the same trap by mostly avoiding politics except by mentioning Sarkozy is pro-American.(Which I guess might be the same as being pro-French here in the States, I suppose.) As far as being satire, not much, except for the jaunty soundtrack and one masterful shot that starts with Sarkozy eating alone, before panning to the press who then rush off to cover Villepin on the beach. The only irony comes when Chirac says the socialists will never win an election in France. Who knew? Plus, Podalydes gives one of those performances usually seen on Saturday Night Live where a performer does an impression by picking on a singular personal tic and then hammering it into the bedrock.
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