Ridicule (1996)

PATRICE LECONTE

Bil’s rating (out of 5):   BBB

France, 1996.  Epithète Films, Cinéa, France 3 Cinéma, Canal+, Sofica Investimage 4, PolyGram Audiovisuel, Procirep, Gras Savoye, Centre National de la Cinématographie.  Scenario and dialogue by , Screenplay by , collaboration with .  Cinematography by .  Produced by , .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  

French take on Dangerous Liaisons that isn’t nearly as pointed or compelling.  plays a newcomer to 18th-century France’s royal court who has no idea how much sharp wit is required to survive his peers. The members of this society value a quick tongue more than they do a quick sword or large fortune, and people’s lives and reputations can be torn down in the simple telling of a joke. Fascinating culture, and certainly a learning experience, but the various relationships and romances that go on in between the many scenes of fashionable cut-ups are never very interesting. On the other hand, it features a lead performance by , one of France’s most fascinating and beautiful actors, making the film a must-see. Just don’t expect too much.

Academy Award Nomination:  Best Foreign Language Film

Cannes Film Festival:  In Competition

Golden Globe Award Nomination:  Best Foreign Language Film

Toronto International Film Festival:  1996

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