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4.4 out of 5 stars
48
4.4 out of 5 stars
Moliere [2007] [DVD]
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on 12 September 2007
This film starts beautifully with Moliere and his troupe arriving in Paris after years on the road trawling the provinces, ready to begin the phase of his life for which he will be remembered. What has brought him to this point and where does his burning drive come from?
The bulk of the film tells us just that, and a very imaginative and wonderfully realised journey it is, weaving incidents from the famous plays into the entertainingly convoluted plot. Laura Morante as the love interest and Moliere's muse is fabulous but some of the scenes are stagy (when they are not meant to be)and finally it's very sumptuousness distracts from what could have been a moving portrait of the artistic temperament.
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on 24 May 2017
Brilliant funny film
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on 9 October 2017
Okay
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on 16 June 2017
Brilliant film with an excellent cast !
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on 3 September 2017
Perfect
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on 8 August 2007
Wonderful movie, brilliantly made and acted, especially Fabrice Lucchini who is a favourite of mine but everyone else is superb also.

My one hesitation is the use of a very long flashback. I wish they'd kept to straight chronological, but I imagine the flashback is more effective in France where unlike me they will recognise all the allusions to Moliere plays. I could guess that much or most (or all?) of the action was based on his plays but mostly not pick them out.

A very neat story, plenty of humour and some poignant moments too. A superior movie.
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VINE VOICEon 13 January 2010
At its best, French cinema ensures that for a couple of delicious hours or so we're allowed to leave grim reality behind and be transported to another world. In this case, we're with Molière in C17 France - a world of wit, regal splendour, cuckoldry, foppery, charm and intrigue. And any illusion that has so much to offer is willingly entered and disbelief willingly suspended.

Nearly everything about the film is deeply satisfying: sumptuous scenes, rich and vivid colours, well realised characters, a rounded plot (which leaves you with a feeling of completion) and even some social commentary: the aristocratic Dorante tells his son, 'In this house, one does not earn money, one marries it. Work,' he sneers contemptuously, 'how pathetic.' Dorante Junior seems prodigiously avant garde, however, preferring the idea of a life in trade to one of idle richness. He tells the assembled guests that opening a business in Spain, where labour costs are four times lower than France, might be worth considering. 'Why not in China?' his father asks mockingly but prophetically. (Maybe HE was the one with business acumen, after all.)

There are only a couple of times where things aren't quite so assured (like the theatre audience's reaction to the hero's on-stage buffoonery, which isn't nearly as side-splitting as we're led to believe). But too much carping about Molière would be, well, misanthropic.

This one is right up there with the very best historical-cultural dramas: alongside Stoppard's film of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead and Amadeus, for example. It's the best subtitled film I've seen since Camilleri's Montalbano films hit our screens last winter.
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on 28 March 2009
If the name of Moliere brings back unwanted memories of the classroom, forget them. His satirical social humour is timeless. There are as many laugh-aloud moments in this two hours as in an equivalent dose of the funniest of sitcoms. All human folly is mercilessly portrayed by a troupe of outstanding actors in this visually ravishing film which cleverly brings in personalities and situations taken from Moliere's comedies. And, thanks to the english sub-titles, watching it could not be bettered as a way of reviving your dormant knowledge of French. Go for it!
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on 7 July 2011
This is billed as the French 'Shakespeare in Love', but it falls rather short of that!
Another reviewer criticised the fact that it is almost all told as a prolonged flashback. I agree. It's totally unnecessary. A straightforward telling of this very funny apocryphal tale of young Molière learning his craft and developing his future plots and character ideas while threading his way through his own entanglements would have been enough to stand on its own.
Fabulous settings, costumes and acting, just a shame about the structure.
Definitely worth watching, though!
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on 13 December 2011
I had to add my own review after reading so many reviews from people who seemed to expect this movie would give them a deep and historically accurate insight into the life of the French writer Moliere.
It doesn't. It's a fun, (mostly) lighthearted comedy set in the 17th century, with a fantastic lead actor in Romain Duris, who's charisma and genuine talent really lift this film to being great rather than just interesting.
I have a particular interest in this era of history anyway so the likelihood that this film would appeal to me was already quite high but I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed the film.
The beginning and end of the movie, which are set in different time periods in Moliere's life than the rest of the film, do tip slightly too far into the melodramatic and clash with the overall tone of the rest of the film, but that is about the only negative I think is worth mentioning.
Shakespeare In Love is an easy comparison, so if you enjoyed that, and in general enjoy a good rom com, I can't imagine you not liking this film.
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