Nicolas Pariser directs Anaïs Demoustier, Fabrice Luchini and Nora Hamzawi in this French political film about the long standing and dedicated mayor of Lyon who engages the services of a young philosopher to revitalise his thinking.
We (and by ‘we’ I mean English speaking countries) do not really make movies like this. Literate but light, educated but entertaining. It covers politics and philosophy with a neat thread of personable humour and romance. It never descends into heavy handed satire or frothy romcom territory. And while the confidence in the viewer to care about intellectual concerns is admirable, it is only fair to say the script skips through a few too many ideas without landing meaningfully on any. The concept of modesty in politics is raised but we never really spend time absorbing the meat of the content, just the esoteric idea. Maybe that is the ultimate point? Ideas and action make unhappy bedfellows… nothing truly productive can come from ruminating in the modern age. But the pull of the story in the first hour is when the incredibly watchable Fabrice Luchini and Anaïs Demoustie tentatively engage with the conceptual over the practical. It may all add up to disappointment but this is a nice and very very French way to be underwhelmed.
Perfect Double Bill: The American President (1995)
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