THIS DELIGHTFUL AND AMUSING costume drama stars Romain Duris (The Beat
My Heart Skipped) in the title role of Molière, France's greatest
dramatist, and whisks you away to the Paris of 1658 to where his troupe have
returned after thirteen years in the provinces successfully producing farces.
Keen to produce tragedies, Molière finds that his patron the king's
brother will only consider comedies.
Molière is summoned to the bedside of a mysterious dying woman and as he looks
at her he is transported back to the days before he became famous, when he knew
her and loved her…
In 1644 the debt-ridden, unacknow-ledged playwright and actor Jean-Baptiste
Poquelin better known as Molière is producing terrible tragedies
that are met with derision. During one, two bailiffs come to arrest him and,
with a stroke of genius, Molière turns the incident into a farce a visual
feast that has his audience (and us!) in fits of laughter.
Just 22 years old, when he was released from debtor's prison Molière disappeared
without a trace. The film looks at a tantalizing mystery: What was he doing
at that time?
In Molière, he is rescued from prison by Monsieur Jourdain (Fabrice Luchini,
Le Bossu), a wealthy merchant who although married to
the lovely Elmire (Laura Morante, The Son's Room) is obsessed
with a ravishing young widow, Célimène (Ludivine Sagnier, Swimming Pool; 8 Women).
Jourdain wants Molière to help him present a play
to Célimène in order to gain her favour.
Using the name Monsieur Tartuffe, Molière moves into Jourdain's
home and observes (or is involved with) some elaborate schemes
and machinations that go on with hysterical results.
The deceitful and disloyal Marquise, Dorante (Edouard Baer, L'Appart-ement),
who 'honours' Jourdain with his supposed friendship, aims to marry his son Thomas
(Gilian Petrovski) to Jourdain's beautiful daughter Henriette (Fanny Valette)
who is in love with her music tutor Valere (Gonjague Montuel). The cruel
and self-centred Célimène is secretly being pursued by Dorante; and the neglected
Elmire succumbs to Molière's seduction. All the ingredients, in fact, for a
A romantic and lavish comedy drama with an intelligent and witty script in the
period tradition of Shakespeare in Love, Molière is directed
by Laurent Tirard, and has an extraordinary cast. The fine period cos-tumes
are by Pierre-Jean Larroque and the original and appropriate music is by Frédéric
Interesting filming techniques include Molière and Elvire both talking to a
mirror while appearing to be having a conversation. One-liners include Dorante
telling his son: "In this house one does not earn money. One marries it." Molière
states: "Tragedy explores the infinite complexity of the human soul." And Elvire:
"Unhappiness has comic aspects one should never underestimate."
A must-own visual pleasure for Francophiles,
cultural or period lovers, the comedy romance Molière can be yours to
own or rent on DVD on release on 12 November (2007) from Pathé Distribution
Limited. Also included is a featurette, Dans les Coulissess De Molière,
(The Making of Molière). C'est Fantastique!
English subtitles are clear and easy to read and do not interfere with the viewing
enjoyment of this remarkable film.
"Shakespeare in Love… French style" Eve Magazine.