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Ridicule
     

Ridicule

4.0 1
Director: Patrice Leconte, Charles Berling, Fanny Ardant, Judith Godrèche

Cast: Patrice Leconte, Charles Berling, Fanny Ardant, Judith Godrèche

 

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This is a French costume drama from director Patrice Leconte that recalls both Dangerous Liaisons (1988) and Restoration (1995). Gregoire Ponceludon de Malavoy (Charles Berling) is a baron of the 18th century French countryside, wealthy in property and high in social position but poor in cash. Local peasants -- dependent upon his largesse for their

Overview

This is a French costume drama from director Patrice Leconte that recalls both Dangerous Liaisons (1988) and Restoration (1995). Gregoire Ponceludon de Malavoy (Charles Berling) is a baron of the 18th century French countryside, wealthy in property and high in social position but poor in cash. Local peasants -- dependent upon his largesse for their income -- are in poor health, the result of a festering marsh that, if drained, could solve the villagers' illnesses and create valuable farmland. Ponceludon travels to Versailles to plead his case before King Louis XVI. There, he is informed that he has no chance of success unless he can impress the court with his verbal prowess, for the king and his minions value banter, preferably of the ironic, cruel, and insulting variety, above all else. Under the tutelage of the Marquis de Bellegarde (Jean Rochefort), Ponceludon discovers that his sober, blunt honesty can be mistaken for a skewering wit. Though the baron falls for his mentor's science-minded daughter Mathilde (Judith Godreche), he's forced to woo the politically powerful Madame de Blayac (Fanny Ardant). Ridicule (1996) opened the 1996 Cannes Film Festival and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Gregory Baird
The tongue is a lethal weapon in this razor-sharp French period comedy from director Patrice Leconte (Monsieur Hire). Set six years before the French Revolution, Ridicule follows Gregoire Ponceludon de Malavoy (Charles Berling), an idealistic young aristocrat who travels to Louis XVI's court at Versailles in search of funding for a project that will save the lives of thousands of peasants. There's plenty of charm and intrigue as our hero finds true love with an enchanting young amateur scientist (Judith Godreche) and later strays into a dangerous liaison with a Machiavellian temptress, played with devilish glee by the inimitable Fanny Ardant (The Woman Next Door). But the film's real appeal lies in its thorough exploration of the power of wit and its dark side, ridicule. Leconte ushers us into a world of privilege where double entendres, repartee, quips, wordplay, retorts, and paradoxes are the only accepted currency. Gregoire learns that mastery of these arts opens all doors; he also discovers that failure at this high-stakes game can be deadly. While there's a seriously populist Mr. Smith Goes to Washington moral to its story, Ridicule never loses its essential buoyancy. The result is a sparkling classical comedy of manners with aristocratic elegance and a Capra-esque heart of gold.

Product Details

Release Date:
05/17/2011
UPC:
0031398138969
Original Release:
1996
Source:
Miramax Lionsgate
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
Time:
1:43:00
Sales rank:
35,643

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Charles Berling Ponceludon de Malavoy
Fanny Ardant Madame de Blayac
Judith Godrèche Mathilde de Bellegarde
Jean Rochefort Marquis de Bellegarde
Bernard Giraudeau L'Abbe de Vilecourt
Carlo Brandt Actor
Jean-Claude Brialy Actor
Urbain Cancelier Actor
Albert Delpy Actor
Bernard Dheran Montalieri
Jacque Mathou Actor
Marie Pillet Actor
Jacques Roman Actor

Technical Credits
Patrice Leconte Director
Thierry Arbogast Cinematographer
Frederic Brillion Producer
Philippe Carcassonne Producer
Antoine Duhamel Score Composer,Songwriter
Michel Fessler Screenwriter
Christian Gasc Costumes/Costume Designer
Joëlle Hache Editor
Dominique Hennequin Sound/Sound Designer
Paul Laine Sound/Sound Designer
Gilles Legrand Producer
Ivan Maussion Production Designer
Manuel Mougin Art Director
Eric Vicaut Screenwriter
Remi Waterhouse Screenwriter

Customer Reviews

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Ridicule 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Patrice Leconte's film on the pageantries and sophistries of King Louis XVI, a place where there are many words flying about but little substance in governance. The protagonist is a low-ranked nobleman, Ponceludon de Malavoy (Charles Berling), who seeks a royal grant to drain the swamps plaguing his region. He is, unfortunately, a new-comer to the King's court and receives help from the Marquis de Bellegarde (Jean Rochefor) and his loving daughter(Judith Godrèche.) Malavoy also receives the help of Madame de Blayac (Fanny Ardant) to befriend the King. As he navigates through the King's court, Malavoy is subjected to the invectives of sycophantic nobles who seek to exploit the King for their own petty needs. Malavoy soon realizes that the only weapon he has that is greater than wealth or title is his wit (esprit). As he come closer to appealing to the King, he maneuvers his wit and invective as a musketeer does his rapier. The script is excellent and the story flows with the art of invective and argument. A perfect example of some of the double-entendre is when the King asks Malavoy why he has made jokes of only the aristocracy but not of him? With a controlled smile Malavoy replies, 'The King is not a subject your Majesty!'