I don’t believe that I’d ever watched two corset movies within eight days before, but it was pouring rain outside and the guys were busy, so I headed to the Montgomery strip mall and saw today’s matinee of Moliere (in French with English subtitles).
While at first glance you would be correct assuming that this is “one of those artsy-fartsy movies Fausta’s so fond of”, it also is a funny movie, a beautiful love story and a movie where adults do that most unusual thing in a film: they actually grow as people – and not just the two main characters, but all the characters.
It is a rare treat indeed to watch these characters evolve.
Romain Duris, who I had never seen in anything before, plays the title character. He starts as a grimy deadbeat and ends up becoming a truly good man: good in his career and good as a person. While Duris’s performance is excellent, is exceptionally good conversing with the other characters, doing a very physical scene where he plays a horse, and in another where he laughs at other characters. The change from deadbeat to successful playwright also involves a change from sleaze to sexy, and that certainly adds to his appeal. Duris has a very appealing voice, along with Laura Morante, who plays his love interest, the beautiful Madame Jourdain. It is a pleasure to hear those talk to each other.
The film resembles Shakespeare in Love in the sense that it uses the writers’ best-known play to tell a beautiful and engaging love story among two grown-ups.
It has slapstick, jokes, visual puns, tears, love, passion, success, and failure.
As a film, Moliere is a pleasure to the senses. The titles at the beginning of the movie are shown over a background of some of the most exquisite silk brocades and velvets ever shown on screen. Morante and Duris have a conversation in a rose garden where you almost can smell the flowers. The lovely locations are beautifully photographed and the cinematography does them justice. The soundtrack incorporates musical themes of the period without being overwhelming. The food looks better than the food in Vatel, another film portraying the same period in French history.
And then, there’s the language. You just sit there and let the words wash over you.
Go see it.