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The French Minister

Bertrand Tavernier
Quai D’Orsay
France 2013 / 113’

When Arthur Vlamnick gets a job at the French Foreign Ministry, he can feel like he has fulfilled his mission. As the  minister’s new speechwriter, the young man is responsible for the minister’s "words." It quickly becomes clear, however, that the structure of this venerable institution is the complete opposite of how he had envisioned it. Besides that oasis of calm and efficiency Chief of Staff Maupas, there is no one Arthur can count on. The Ministry’s corridors are filled with countless absurdities, interpersonal games, and words – smooth and palatable slogans that lack any real meaning. Bertrand Tavernier, an acclaimed director of historical films, has created a fast-paced, tightly woven satire that rushes forward, buoyed by bursts of comic energy from a series of comic events. Thierry Lhermitte lights up the screen in the role of Minister Taillard de Worms, a man with a treasure trove of Heraclitus quotes who is more of a charismatic performer than a capable politician, a master of first impressions who is knowledgeable about everything and nothing. An eloquent, very French-styled and realistic portrait of the world of the political elite.

Anna Tatarska


César Awards 2014 - Best Supporting Actor (Niels Arestrup); Lumiere Awards 2014 - Most Promising Young Actor (Raphaël Personnaz); San Sebastián IFF 2013 - Best Screenplay

Bertrand Tavernier

Bertrand Tavernier was born in 1941 in Lyon. He worked as an assistant to Jean-Pierre Melville. He made his film debut in 1974 with the well-received The Clockmaker of St. Paul. In early films, he dealt with issues of complex family relations (A Week’s Holiday, 1980; A Sunday in the Country, 1984), but he earned commercial success and two Oscar nominations for his jazz tribute, 'Round Midnight,which featured the music of Herbie Hancock. He has made a number of acclaimed historical films (Life and Nothing But, 1989; Captain Conan, 1996). He has won four César Awards.

Selected filmography

1974 Zegarmistrz od Świętego Pawła / L’Horloger de Saint-Paul / The Clockmaker of St. Paul

1984 Niedziela na wsi / Un Dimanche à la Campagne / A Sunday in the Country

1996 Kapitan Conan / Captaine Conan / Captain Conan

1999 Zacznijmy już dzisiaj / Ça commence aujourd’hui / It All Starts Today

2010 Księżniczka Montpensier / La Princesse de Montpensier / The Princess of Montpensier

Cast & Crew

director Bertrand Tavernier
screenplay Bertrand Tavernier, Christophe Blain, Abel Lanzac
cinematography Jerome Almeras
editing Guy Lecorne
music Philippe Sarde
cast Thierry Lhermitte, Raphael Personnaz, Niels Arestrup, Josephine de La Baume, Thomas Chabrol, Anais Demoustier, Julie Gayet, Jane Birkin
producer Frederic Bourboulon, Jerome Seydoux, Isabelle Kostic Crosley
production Pathé, Little Bear
sales Pathé
language French
colouration colour