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Film Details

Directed by: Laurent Tirard

Produced: 2007

Countries & Regions: France

DVD Details

Certificate: 12

Length: 120 mins

Format: DVD

Released: 12 November 2007

Cat No: P922501000

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Moliere

Cast: Romain Duris , Fabrice Luchini , Laura Morante , Ludivine Sagnier , Fanny Valette , Edouard Baer , Melanie Dos Santos

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French comedy directed by Laurent Tirard. In 1644, the French playwright and actor Jean-Baptiste Poquelin, better known as Moliere... Read More

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French comedy directed by Laurent Tirard. In 1644, the French playwright and actor Jean-Baptiste Poquelin, better known as Moliere (Romain Duris) was just 22 years old. Crippled with debt and hounded by the bailiffs, he persisted in staging undeniably bad tragedies. And then, one day, after having been imprisoned by his impatient creditors and released, he disappeared without a trace. This story attempts to explain the missing months of the great writer’s life before his rise to fame.

A disarmingly shameless French hommage to Shakespeare in Love, Laurent Tirard's elegant and witty seventeenth-century comedy constructs a similar romantic contrivance around alleged events from the life of the playwright Molière (the pseudonym of Jean-Baptiste Poquelin), taking advantage of a period in 1644 that has never been reliably documented. In this heavily fictionalised version, the debt-ridden young actor-writer (a dashing Romain Duris) is hired by the wealthy Monsieur Jourdain (Fabrice Luchini) to coach the latter in the art of performance in order to win the heart of a widowed countess. His pupil's painfully obvious lack of talent makes this a thankless task, rendered somewhat more diverting by the alluring presence of Madame Jourdain (Laura Morante). The resulting farcical liaisons lead to Molière's realisation that his initial pretensions towards tragedy are massively outweighed by a supremely natural gift for comedy. Unsurprisingly, the film has countless allusions to his still unwritten plays, though they function more as bonbons for the well-read than vital keys to comprehension: those after a straightforwardly rollicking costume romance will be amply satisfied.

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