Quai d'Orsay

Quai d'Orsay

DVD - 2014 | French | Panoramique.
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Fraîchement diplômé de l'École Nationale d'Administration, Arthur Vlaminck, idéaliste de gauche, décroche un poste inespéré au ministère des Affaires étrangères, situé Quai d'Orsay à Paris. Sa fonction: rédacteur des discours du ministre Alexandre Taillard de Vorms, un homme volubile, hyperactif, girouette, au carrefour du génie et du bouffon. Tandis qu'il tente de s'adapter à son nouvel environnement miné, Arthur s'attelle avec zèle à la tâche. Et si Claude Maupas, le directeur de cabinet sage et un brin narcoleptique, l'encourage dans le processus, le ministre le renvoie continuellement à la case départ en lui balançant à la figure ses mantras passe-partout: légitimité, lucidité et efficacité. Incapable de satisfaire son employeur, Arthur en prend son parti, à l'instar de ses collègues rompus aux futilités entourant l'exercice du pouvoir.
Publisher: Montréal : Axia Films, [2014].
Edition: Panoramique.
Branch Call Number: QUAI
Characteristics: 1 vidéodisque (114 min) : son., coul. ; 12 cm.


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Dec 11, 2015

I have to say this political farce by director Tavernier is a film I enjoyed the least of his work. The gags were repetitive, and there was not much of a plot. You have to be a hardcore fan of political drama to really get engaged.

Nov 23, 2015

Director Bertrand Tavernier despised (à juste titre) the American neocons who steered George W. 'Bush into the worst foreign policy blunder in American history. A decade after his very public denunciations of the US invasion of Iraq, Tavernier made this slapstick comedy about the cretinous world of diplomacy. The plot hardly matters: it's just a skeleton on which to hang some hilarious writing and good acting (especially Niels Arestrup as the minister's chef de cabinet). There are plenty of lines that provoke belly laughs, and the excellent sub-titles get the English equivalents right. There is also a lot of 'insider baseball' to enjoy for those who are familiar with French politics. (Is the foreign minister patterned on Dominique de Villepin? The final scene certainly suggests that.) The movie is great fun, though a bit wearing because of the reptitious gags. It is the language of the script that is the real star of the film.

Sep 14, 2015

Alexandre Taillard de Vorms is tall and impressive, a man with style, attractive to women. He also happens to be the Minister of Foreign Affairs for the land of enlightenment: France. With his silver mane and tanned, athletic body, he stalks the world stage, from the floor of the United Nations in New York to the powder keg of Oubanga. There, he calls on the powerful and invokes the mighty to bring peace, to calm the trigger-happy, and to cement his aura of Nobel Peace Prize winner-in-waiting. Alexandre Taillard de Vorms is a force to be reckoned with, waging his own war backed up by the holy trinity of diplomatic concepts: legitimacy, lucidity and efficacy. He takes on American neo-cons, corrupt Russians and money-grabbing Chinese. Perhaps the world doesn't deserve France's magnanimousness, but his art would be wasted if just restricted to home turf. Enter the young Arthur Vlaminck, graduate of the elite National School of Administration, who is hired as head of "language" at the foreign ministry. In other words, he is to write the minister's speeches. But he also has to learn to deal with the sensibilities of the boss and his entourage, and find his way between the private secretary and the special advisers who stalk the corridors of the Quai d'Orsay - the ministry's home - where stress, ambition and dirty dealing are the daily currency. But just as he thinks he can influence the fate of the world, everything seems threatened by the inertia of the technocrats.

Sep 14, 2015

A wonderful film. Actors are very fine, especially Niels Arestrup as the long-suffering subordinate of the egomaniacal foreign minister. The quotes from Heraclitus were apt.

Dec 12, 2014

A great movie, very believable characters. the minister looks and behaves very much like one of my former bosses. It was like a time travel for me though I've never worked at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Sometimes very funny.

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