Molière

  • Film
  • Comedy
0 Love It

Laurent Tirard’s sprightly, fun and clever widescreen costumer plays like a Gallic ‘Shakespeare in Love’. But in ‘Molière’ the bard (Romain Duris) is more of a dupe and a victim, albeit a game and resourceful one, looking back from the 1650s at his days as a debt-ridden actor-manager and provincial comedian in the 1640s. The games that Tirard and co-writer Grégoire Vigneron play with the dramatist’s theatrical conceits differ, too, from Tom Stoppard’s post-modernism, offering an equally light and witty but more populist satire on period manners, courtly flummery, romantic entanglement, mimicry, identity and self-delusion.

It’s a film of performances, and of them Fabrice Luchini is right on the money as the vain, wealthy Jourdain, whose opulent househould Molière enters disguised as a priest to assist with the dangerously myopic man’s acting ambitions. Ludivine Sagnier is haughty and remote as the oblivious, verbose object of Jourdain’s desire; Edouard Baer gives great comic value as the covetous, scheming aristocrat Dorante; and, best of all, Laura Morante is seductive and affecting as Jourdain’s neglected wife, to whom Molière’s eye is turned.

All in all, it’s a breezy, jestful and enjoyable divertissement, in which Duris is given free rein to showcase his considerable versatility, switching from parodied artistic torment to flourishing declamations or theatrical buffoonery to delicate romantic ardour in the turn of a bon mot. The whole is lifted by Frédéric Talgorn’s bright, classically inflected score and the sumptuous photography of Gilles Henri.

Release details

Rated: 12A
Release date: Friday July 13 2007
Duration: 121 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Laurent Tirard, Grégoire Vigneron
Screenwriter: Laurent Tirard
Cast: Ludivine Sagnier
Romain Duris
Fabrice Luchini
Laura Morante
Edouard Baer

Average User Rating

5 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:3
  • 4 star:0
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  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|7
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reviewer0963751

This intelligent, sumptuous flim is not 'excruciatingly slow' or 'base metal' as so pretentiously described by 'Sylvester'. This film is a classic, and any budding actors would do well to watch it once a day. Without shouting about it, this cast dance through a whirlwind of intesity, love, sacrifice and comedy. In this clever film about a play about a play about a play, Tirard leads his actors past the obstacles of stale, forced or overdone performing and together they leave behind a film which has not had its spontaneity stamped out of it.

reviewer0963751

This intelligent, sumptuous flim is not 'excruciatingly slow' or 'base metal' as so pretentiously described by 'Sylvester'. This film is a classic, and any budding actors would do well to watch it once a day. Without shouting about it, this cast dance through a whirlwind of intesity, love, sacrifice and comedy. In this clever film about a play about a play about a play, Tirard leads his actors past the obstacles of stale, forced or overdone performing and together they leave behind a film which has not had its spontaneity stamped out of it.

mystic

Dead wrong Time Out, Again. All I can say is that the audience, including myself, applauded loudly when one of the greatest acting troupes in the world, La Comedie Francais, take their curtain calls at the end. Exquisitely acted, crafted, directed, designed, costumed, wigged etc. it uses a fictionalised account of how the young Moliere may have been inspired to appreciate and then write about the irony reflecting life's truths in dramatic comedic form. The film, like Shakespeare in Love does for the Bard,, uses the structured and witty trappings of a Moliere comedy to delineate the lyrically bittersweet and often touching plot device, which in my opinion is as thrilling as seeing a live staged event by the same troupe. Splendidly glorious.

mystic

Dead wrong Time Out, Again. All I can say is that the audience, including myself, applauded loudly when one of the greatest acting troupes in the world, La Comedie Francais, take their curtain calls at the end. Exquisitely acted, crafted, directed, designed, costumed, wigged etc. it uses a fictionalised account of how the young Moliere may have been inspired to appreciate and then write about the irony reflecting life's truths in dramatic comedic form. The film, like Shakespeare in Love does for the Bard,, uses the structured and witty trappings of a Moliere comedy to delineate the lyrically bittersweet and often touching plot device, which in my opinion is as thrilling as seeing a live staged event by the same troupe. Splendidly glorious.

Sylvester

The film opens with the scene of Molière and his theatre troupe arriving in Paris at the start of his illustrious career as the Sun King's pet dramatist. But this film is not going to explore the part Molière's audacious dramas played in reflecting and shaping the life of the dazzling court at Versailles. It is going 13 years back into the interiors of an obscure chateau. Here Molière supposedly lives out the events upon which his comedy Tartuffe was later based. The theme of the film is that the gold of true art originates in the base metal of everyday life. Unfortunately all we get here is base metal. The first two thirds of the film is excruciatingly slow, not helped by the most banal of plots. The cast do what they can with a schematic script, Morante and Vigneron being the pick, but there is no tension to the story and the gags are unbearably laboured. If you can bear to stay to the credits, the loose ends will eventually if perfunctorily be tied up. And we finish where we started -- ruing the price of our tickets.