Skip’s Quips, Part II: ‘Minister’-ing to Movie Wounds

Blog Sketch 082813Well, I saw Bertrand Tavernier’s The French Minister yesterday at Manhattan’s Walter Reade Theater.

Some amusing bits. But it didn’t feel cohesive. Undeveloped characters ran rampant in this tale, the based-on-a-true-graphic-novel-story of a young Parisian speechwriter’s encounters with his blustery foreign minister. Once-funny jokes were repeated all too often, including a running gag in which papers fly each time the public serviceman enters a room and slams the door. Yes, it was too much of a good thing. Then there was the protagonist’s love interest, who remained just that: a love interest. There wasn’t much conflict or development in their relationship as the film proceeded.

Cinematography was conservative, save a few dashing shots and screen slice-ups. And the film was overlong; much of the door-slamming could’ve been cut. Overall a decent film, but not a special one. More appetizing was the fact that Tavernier showed up and took questions afterward. A tall, white-haired gentleman, the veteran director seemed very personable and interested in talking about his film. Sadly, the movie isn’t a masterpiece, but it’s definitely different from the rest of the cinematic fare being shown on Broadway.

If only it were better.

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