The Minister (L'exercice de l'État)

Dir: Pierre Schoeller (2011)

The political process is often downgraded in contemporary society, reduced to cliché and soundbite. Pierre Schoeller’s gripping debut film puts the daily process of politics under the spotlight as the viewer follows the well-intentioned reactions of the French transport minister as he falls under attack from all sides. While the action is all French, the responses and the outcomes are absolutely universal. The cast excel (Olivier Gourmet is perfection as the Minister, and Michel Blanc won a Cesar for Best Supporting Actor, and Zabou Brietman’s energy as the press secretary shows her at her very best), and it’s worth noting that director Schoeller also won a Cesar for best score. The atmospheric soundtrack helps ramp up the tension in a film that’s impossible to look away from. The moments of humour recall “In the Loop”, or “The Thick Of It”, but the level of drama escalates to dizzying levels, and truths are bought home more than once.

No screenings scheduled at this time.

Director: Pierre Schoeller

Year: 2011

Language: French (with English subtitles)

Run Time: 115 mins

Rating: MA15+ (Strong nudity and themes)

Winner: Fipresci Award, Un Certain Regard 2011

Winner: 3 Cesar Awards at 2012 ceremony.

Winner: French Syndicate of Cinema Critics Best Film 2011

★ “The Minister is played to perfection and beautifully written”

– Liberation

★ “A smart, efficient thriller that shows how politics has turned into a mad dash, and a dangerous addictive competition” 

– Telerama

★ “A masterstroke” 

- Le Monde

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