Sunday, April 20, 2014
Philippe Le Guay has had quite an interesting career, working successfully in various genres -- from his most recent hit, the nostalgic and socially-conscious rom-com The Women on the 6th Floor to his earlier and very dark movie about work and family, Nightshift (Trois Huit) and a very interesting and barbed look at how the French bourgeoisie lived back in 2003, The Cost of Living. All told, he's directed eleven films (theatrical and television) and written twenty-two. Now comes one of his best: BICYCLING WITH MOLIÈRE, the charming, classy tale of a classic piece of French literature attempting to be brought to exhilarating life by a pair of France's finest actors (Fabrice Luchini and Lambert Wilson) -- who happen to be portraying a pair of France's finest actors.
Maya Sansa, above), an Italian divorcee who is initially angry at them and the world around her but then quickly (a tad too quickly, perhaps) warms up to our two chums.
Laurie Bordesoules, below) warms to the words.
Claire's Knee onward, you'll know that there is damn little he can't do. His work here is sterling; the man just gets better and better with age. M. Wilson, below, looks fabulously sexy (as he so often does) but here this is cleverly combined with that ever-so-slightly self-satisfied "star" quality that successful actors sometimes radiate.
Bellocchio's Dormant Beauty, makes a lovely foil for our guys. Though it is pretty clear that the whole story was designed to explore actors, acting and Molière, the three leads do yeoman work at turning their "characters" into as close to full-blooded people as possible.
Strand Releasing and running 104 minutes, Bicycling with Molière, gets its U.S. theatrical premiere this Wednesday, April 23, in New York City at Film Forum. In Los Angeles, look for the film at Laemmle's Royal and Playhouse 7 on May 2, and at Laemmle's Town Center on May 9. Elsewhere? Let's hope. Otherwise, watch for it eventually on DVD and maybe Netflix streaming.