Monday, 11 August 2014


Reasonable enough, without being anything to get too excited about.
The title in both languages refers to the play 'The Misanthropist' which Lambert Wilson (here on the left), a celebrated TV actor playing a surgeon in a hospital drama series, wants to put the play on stage, with himself playing the title role of Alceste. He wishes to coax Fabrice Luchini out of acting retirement to appear in the secondary part and visits him in his home on the Ile de Re (a small island off the French Atlantic coast, I've looked up). Luchini has deep reservations about resuming acting after so many years, his vacillations taking up most of the 'action' and, while he's deciding, the two of them start rehearsing the play in the expectation that he will eventually agree to do it, though Luchini would prefer to play the main part himself. A romantic dimension with a degree of rivalry between the two of them is provided by the chance appearance of an Italian divorcee.

The film's main interest is the squabbling between the two men and their relationship blowing hot and cold, sometimes with mutual admiration, at other times with exasperation about each others demands - a sort of 'odd couple' scenario.
We see them a few times cycling out together on the island but it mostly takes place in the retired actor's home where he lives alone.
 There were a few amusing situations but nothing to cause more than a mild chuckle. I got the impression that the film (director: Philippe le Guay) thought it was funnier than I and the audience found it. Some of the play's rehearsed  extracts are quite significant and I got the impression that there seemed to be a resonance between the parts they were playing and the two men in real life, so it might help to be more familiar with the play than I was.

It just about held my interest though at times it seemed to carry the simple basic idea too far and turned a bit flat...............5.5.

Btw: Shortly after coming out of the cinema in Brighton I took one hell of a heavy fall on the roadside, right among the touristy throngs, the worst tumble I've taken in many years, splitting my lip and hurting left arm - the former still bleeding a little and the arm still so sore that it's painful to move it, it now being three hours since it happened. A group of people came out of a nearby cafe to render assistance, helping me to a nearby outside seat, providing wet tissues, glass of water and making enquiries as to whether they ought to call an ambulance. I refused the latter, of course, but as to their concern I am most grateful and think I made that clear. Only hope it all doesn't feel as bad in the morning as it does now, there being another film on the cards and tomorrow's time of screening is by far the most convenient for me to attend. But, oh, how I hate attention - especially when it's something so publicly 'belittling' as this was.


  1. If your arm is very painful tomorrow go to A&E
    Off to see Locke on we'd btw

    1. It's still sore this morning, J.G., and I had an uncomfortable night not being able move around much, let alone sleeping on the left side. But I don't think it's that serious, only dressing takes a long time being virtually one arm/handed. If it doesn't show improvement suppose I will have to go to A& E but reluctant to do so as I was only there two months ago with a succession of nose-bleeds which I couldn't stop. (I didn't blog about them.) Thanks for your concern.

      (If you don't think 'Locke' is a superior film I'll be very surprised indeed.)

  2. Hey Ray, I think I will give this film a miss.

    Sorry you fell and hurt yourself. Like John says if it is bad tomorrow get it looked at. I have broken both arms and the 2nd one I thought I was alright and then I couldn't move my fingers. 1 great big crack and a green stick fracture (I think that was what it was called).

    you look after yourself. Hows your face now?

    1. I shouldn't think anything's broken, Sol - I can still move all my fingers. I think it's a twisted or pulled muscle but, as I say to J.G. above, if it doesn't improve I'll just have to face going to the hospital again. I do think the arm could do with a sling but there's no one here to help with such as changing my clothes, or even feeding the cats. But we'll see.

      I spent a little time trying to wash out the dried blood from my beard this morning, though even that's not so easy when you're one-handed. At least the bleeding from lower lip has stopped.
      Grateful for your thoughts, Sol.

  3. What caught my attention was Lambert Wilson's name. It has been a very long time since I've seen him Naturally, I became interested in this film despite your 5.5 rating. Fortunately, I went to my Netflix streaming account, did a search and voila! there it was Needless to say, this evening I watched it on my 60" screen. I have to say that I really had a very enjoyable evening watching it. There are certain movies that only the French can do. This is one of them. Mr. Lambert has aged, but he still looks wonderful. Thanks for bringing this movie to my attention. If it weren't for your review, I would have missed it.

    Btw, I saw "Boyhood" the other evening and I have to say it is a masterpiece. Thinking of going again to see it. It is a shame that it didn't make the top ten at the box office over the weekend. Seems that moviegoers prefer crap.

    So sorry to learn about your fall. I know it can be so embarrassing. I hope when you wake on Tuesday, you don't feel any effects. If you do, please see a doctor.

    1. It is a very French film, Paul, and it's interesting that you enjoyed it so much when, at the time I watched it, even the sizeable audience's reaction was quite muted. So my thought that it might be an advantage in knowing the play turns out to have been not necessarily the case. Incidentally, it's quite a rare event to see a French film which isn't set in Paris, so I'd put that in its favour. (There must be quite a number but they rarely come over here.)
      I can imagine that M. Lambert would have been quite a head-turner in his day, which he still is to some extent. But Luchini impressed me even more.
      Anyway, glad I was instrumental in bringing this film to your attention, it having clearly not in the least having been a waste of time for you.

      I'm so pleased that you too have a high opinion of 'Boyhood'. I wonder if you could work out why it works so well when, story-wise at least, it has little going for it. I agree that most of today's audiences wouldn't know 'quality' if it mugged them on the street. What they want is superficial thrills, as long-lasting as their popcorn - and then to forget it.

      As I say in my comments above re my fall I am still sore but it hasn't incapacitated me. My plan was to go to Brighton again today to see 'God's Pocket' and again tomorrow to see 'The Golden Dream', but to go today means leaving in 45 mins and don't know if I should - especially since it sometimes means holding onto something in a crowded bus to keep me steady. Don't know whether to chance it.

      Anyway, I've written all this and above comments, and blog itself, using just one hand. Can't keep doing it forever so if it's not showing signs of improvement, someone medical it'll have to be,
      Thanks for your thoughts.

  4. Oh no! I sure hope your hand, face, and entire body aren't feeling the after-effects of that fall.

    1. Thanks, Mitch. It's only the arm/wrist and lip that are aching. Doctor says lip will heal by itself. The other's a damn nuisance, as you can imagine, limiting most of my movements to some degree.