6 September 2001 | davidguy
Gem of subtlety
I have seen this film recently on video after having missed it at the cinema and on TV. I knew it would be all about cruelty of words and superficiality of elites. Indeed, this film is a true gem, very well played, sharp and quick. It tells the story of a young provincial nobleman discovering the Versailles Court as he tries to get funding for his project. What he finds will lead the nobility to its brutal end 6 years later: futility, self-conceit, disinterest to the people's problems, superficiality of relationships (all of which still pervade it modern French elite, to some respects as was evident from revelations of Mitterrand's shameful reign). Of course the political message is important. But equally if not more important -or pleasurable- are the dialogues. French can be so brutal, insidious, cruel, tortured, witty when used a propos that I'm not sure the non-French speakers could get the most of the dialogues. Certainly the absolutely brilliant rhymes contest would be somehow lost in English subtitles. A very good 9/10 for this movie, and a bit less if you don't get the dialogues.