"Molière" is a polished, character-driven entertainment enlivened by flashes of droll humor.
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Not many surprises are in store, but the film’s affection for the dramatist is pleasing.
High culture this decidedly isn’t. Mostly, it’s just a vehicle for two terrific actors to snipe at each other and poke some mild fun at their own profession.
The two leads are so strong in these parts that it’s too bad they rarely get the chance to do more with them.
Philippe Le Guay’s comedy promises an intellectual satire on how actors mirror their characters. Yet it’s compromised by indulgent pacing and ill-advised slapstick – leaving a cosy, middlebrow showcase for its stars to practise theatrical verse and fall off their bikes.
This may be a buddy comedy on its surface, but Bicycling With Molière also gives some insight into the way art imitates life, and also the way life informs art.
The screenplay ultimately bears out Alceste’s observations about treachery, selfishness and deceit, but with such charm and zest that their sting tickles more than it hurts.
Even though the subtext about the past and modernity constantly being at odds throughout the setting's changing times is intriguing, the director presents this in a clunky, almost didactic fashion.