The French Minister: Reviews in the American Press

For The Village Voice, this very funny pic is all politics and zero ideology. Aside from the realistic world of British political series, Tavernier’s film is “a kind of insular fantasyland” whose characters seems to be suffering from the behavioral effects of toxoplasmosis ! A really really French film.

For The Times, Quai d'Orsay “lampoons power brokers : an empty suit, but such fine material”. It is a comedy of manners and errors in which the fire always rekindles. The daily praises the actors, the stature of Niels Arestrup, and Thierry Lhermitte’s sharply clipped gestures and precise comic timing. The actor seems to be sending waves of energy off the screen.

Variety rejects the idea that the film is "too French" for foreign export (It is the New York Post’s one). This movie has many virtues for which no translation is needed, chiefly the hilarious and central performance of Thierry Lhermitte who abounds with the loose grace of a Tex Avery cartoon character and comic explosive energy. Variety also praised the strength of the deadpan face Niels Arestrup gives to his role while other actors strike just the right notes. Bertrand Tavernier, who had not previously done comedy, brings throughout the film, his love for the Hollywood studio comedies of the 1930s and 1940s. The French Minister is “a sparkling and savvy comedy of political manners”.

You can now see The French Minister (Quai d'Orsay) in New York until April 10, as well as Saturday, April 5 in Greenwich, Connecticut.


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