The French Minister

2013

Comedy

160
IMDb Rating 6.4 10 3

Synopsis


Downloaded times
November 8, 2021

Cast

Jane Birkin as Marie-Paule
Niels Arestrup as Claude Maupas
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
1.02 GB
1280*720
fre 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
113 min
P/S N/A / N/A
2.1 GB
1920×1080
fre 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
113 min
P/S N/A / N/A

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by writers_reign 6 / 10 / 10

Foreign Officers

I can think - as, I am sure, can you - of at least a dozen French film directors I would check out if I was in the mood for satire/comedy before getting round to Bertrand Tavernier. Nevertheless that is what he serves up here in the twilight of a career devoted to more dramatic fare. People like Tavernier and his principal players - Thierry Thermitte, Niels Arestrup - don't, of course, do mediocre so we are speaking of an entertaining evening even if your knowledge of French politics is non- existent (although, purely by coincidence, the presence of Julie Gayet in a major supporting role is unlikely to harm its chances at the box office and it's really refreshing to see a young French actor - in this case Rafael Personnaz - who is the complete antitheses of the current crop that embraces Romain Duris, Gal Ulliel, Benoit Magimal, who alternate between sullen and arrogant, each firmly convinced he is God's gift. In short whilst not vintage Tavernier it is far from chopped liver.

Reviewed by deloudelouvain 7 / 10 / 10

Thierry Lhermitte did the job.

Politics, it's really not my thing, as I see them all as manipulative power hungry wolves in sheep clothes, so a movie about a French minister isn't the kind of movie I would go for but as Quai d'Orsay is a political satire it was just what I needed to have a couple good laughs. Making fun about people that think they are above everyone is just funny. Although the story is a bit repetitive it was funny and that mostly because of Thierry Lhermitte who did a brilliant job playing the French Minister of Foreign Affairs Alexandre Taillard de Worms. The whole movie is about writing a speech for the Minister, a speech that is never good enough and that needs constant modifications, it's repetitive but it worked.

Reviewed by robert-temple-1 7 / 10 / 10

Merriment without laughter, wit without guffaws

It is odd how the French talent for satire can sometimes give rise to no actual laughter. This film is one of those strange examples. The original French title is QUAI D'ORSAY, and for those who are unfamiliar with the meaning of that, it does not refer to the Musée d'Orsay so dear to all art lovers (which is inside a converted former railway station on the Quai d'Orsay beside the Seine) but to the French Foreign Ministry. Because of its address, the Foreign Ministry has throughout the whole of modern times been referred to by the French as well as all foreign diplomats simply as the 'Quai d'Orsay'. This film is a wildly satirical spoof on the lunacy that the French imagine (and who can say they are wrong?) takes place inside their Foreign Ministry. The Foreign Minister is played with rampant satirical flair and panache by Thierry Lhermitte. He portrays the Foreign Minister as a charming lunatic who constantly contradicts himself, and never, never, never stops talking. He is constantly quoting the ancient Greek philosopher Heraclitus (whose work survives only in fragments, many of which make great quotes), but rarely with relevance. The comedy is enhanced by the film containing many inserted full screen cards giving spoof quotations from Heraclitus which are, of course, nonsensical. If only this film showed the subtlety of satire at which the British excel, but it is too 'in your face' and slapstick. They are just trying too hard to be funny, and although they certainly succeed at being most amusing, I did not laugh once, whereas at a British film of that type I would undoubtedly have laughed often. (As for the Americans, they have never heard of subtlety in satire, and true satire is largely unknown to Hollywood, and is better found in a performance by the Second City group, who have never made it to the screen and remain firmly onstage as satirists.) The finest performance in this film is certainly by the wonderful Niels Arestrup, who despite his Danish name (his father was from Denmark) is as French as they come. He calmly runs the Foreign Ministry and deals with the continually recurring international emergencies amidst all the chaos around him, while his incompetent minister and the other hopeless staff run around in circles like mad dogs. No one ever notices that he is doing this. Let us hope that there is at least one Niels Arestrup in every French Government ministry, for otherwise the country could collapse under the weight of its collective political idiocy. And speaking of idiots, lest we forget the current President Hollande, his girl friend Julie Gayet appears in this film as one of the Foreign Ministry staff, though she makes no big impression. But then perhaps that is because I do not have a motor bike and have never learned her finer points. (Now that is subtle satire for you!) The omnipresent Jane Birkin has a good cameo in this film as a Nobel Prize-winning authoress whom the Minister wishes to meet and takes to lunch but talks so much himself that she does not get a word in. And for Jane not to get a word in is something! Hardly likely in real life. The director of this confection is the distinguished and well known Bertrand Tavernier. I wonder whether the French themselves laughed out loud at this film, and that my own laughless and wholly silent appreciation of it was merely a cultural artefact. Do I lack a Gallic organ? Such thoughts haunt me at nights.

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