Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Moliere: Laurent Tirard

A well-performed and beautifully staged romp purporting to be the story of Moliere's career before he found royal favour.
The leader of a theatrical troupe, he is engaged by a merchant, delightfully played by Fabrice Luchini, to help him perform a self-written play to win the affections of a spoilt Countess, Ludivine Sagnier, even though he has a beautiful wife, Laura Morante. Moliere is purportedly in the household as a tutor to their teenage daughter but is not accepted by the wife at first though she later succumbs to his charm in more ways than one. The daughter is going to be married to the son of the nobleman supposedly helping the father's efforts at seduction though she loves her music teacher. Eventually, Moliere is able to devise a plan whereby this marriage is called off by the nobleman, the daughter marries her lover and husband and wife are re-united. Moliere departs with his debts settled and rejoins his troupe to spend the following years touring and honing their skills. Although he wants to write tragedies, he accepts that comedy is his metier and becomes a court favourite by the film's end. Romain Duris in the lead role gives a sparkling performance which is matched by both Luchini and Morante.

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