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French Minister

34 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Doors slam and papers fly in this off-the-wall comedy about French politics directed by master filmmaker Bertrand Tavernier (The Princess of Montpensier). Tavernier's blistering assault - based on the award-winning graphic novel by Abel Lanzac, a former government speech writer - zeroes in on fictional Minister of Foreign Affairs Alexandre Taillard de Vorms (a tour-de-force comic performance by Thierry Lhermitte). A human whirlwind and a man confident in France's importance on the world stage, de Vorms takes on American neo-cons, corrupt Russians and the opportunistic Chinese while his hapless speech writer (Raphael Personnaz) endures the eccentricities of his megalomaniacal boss and his sycophantic entourage. In the vein of recent political comedies such as In the Loop, The French Minister is a hilarious send-up of diplomacy and international politics with rapid-fire dialogue and a brilliant ensemble cast.


Special Features: Making Of, Trailer

Product Details

  • Actors: Thierry Lhermitte, Niels Arestrup, Bruno Raffaelli, Raphael Personnaz
  • Directors: Bertrand Tavernier
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: MPI HOME VIDEO
  • DVD Release Date: July 29, 2014
  • Run Time: 114 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00JK7QS78
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #31,430 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Acclaimed director Bertrand Tavernier (The Princess of Montpensier) isn't particularly known for madcap comedy, but he charts new water with the over-the-top political satire "The French Minister." I felt like Tavernier was emulating Armando Iannucci with this effort. Iannucci so successfully skewered British politics with the brilliant series "The Thick of It" and its movie spin-off "In The Loop" and is currently responsible for dishing on the American Vice-Presidency in HBO's "VEEP." If you've seen any of these shows, you've got a good feel for the outrageous (but semi-realistic) tone that "The French Minister" strives to attain. Smart, witty, and filled with committed performances, this is a movie reliant on fast dialogue and quick references to succeed. In that way, it almost hurts the experience to rely on subtitles. I watch foreign films with regularity and love them but let's be honest, we can sometimes lose something in translation. As the rapid fire shenanigans of "The French Minister" are flying by, I couldn't help but think that the overall comedic timing was jeopardized with the translation to subtitles. You miss the nuance, the casual aside necessary to make the dialogue sing. I still liked the movie and would easily recommend it, but it's probably best appreciated for the verbal interplay.

We see the chaos and confusion through the eyes of naive speech writer Raphaël Personnaz. Brought in at the request of the Minister of Foreign Affairs (Thierry Lhermitte), the new staffer can hardly tell up from down as he's plunged into a non-stop world of crisis. Lhermitte gives a show stopping performance. Imperious, outrageous, contradictory, and oftentimes clueless, the Minister has everyone jumping through hoops to make sense of his requests.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By David M. Shilling on April 22, 2014
Format: Amazon Instant Video Verified Purchase
Extremely well done satire. I especially thought the subtitles were superb; they captured English slang that seemed appropriate to the situation.
David Shilling
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Savvy Consumer on August 21, 2014
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So evocative of French perspective on politics and bureaucracy. Thierry Lhermitte has always been a favorite.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Steve H. in Austin on April 25, 2014
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Loved this movie. It catches the air of a political office, and all the personalities. Wonderful visual style. Directed by the great Bertrand Tavernier.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By angela zawadzki on August 11, 2014
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Fabulous, funny, tasteful and intelligent. Excellent political critique only the French can make.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Walter Nissen on July 8, 2014
Format: DVD
Such an odd movie, clearly satire yet filmed almost in a realistic style. I'm anglo and had no trouble following the subtitles. I watched this on a plane, without the context that it's a thinly veiled parody of Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the notorious French foreign minister. In an amazing case of art imitating life, the actress who plays one of the characters was involved in the real-life affair. I thought it was just a funny look at a government office.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kate on May 10, 2014
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The movie was very funny. I watched it with a native French speaker, who confirmed that the English subtitles were poorly done (as well as very hard to read). A great movie nonetheless, but it would be better if the subtitles were better so that we don't miss out on the great humor.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Andrew Untal on April 25, 2014
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I would have enjoyed this movie more but the white subtitles often blended into the large amount of white paper on screen and I was forced to dim the TV to avoid missing 20% of the text.
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