Mannered and often very funny.
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Director Bertrand Tavernier’s amusing new political satire isn’t toothless, but it could use more bite.
The conclusion feels too good-natured after nearly two hours of a minister who would need typed instructions to butter a baguette.
With its broad performances, rapid-fire pacing, and rampant visual and verbal gags, Bernard Tavernier's first out-and-out comedy doesn't try too hard to hide its graphic-novel origins.
Mr. Tavernier’s filmmaking here is loose, almost casual, and you may not always notice what he’s doing with the camera as he frames the ministry’s choreographed chaos with its whirling people and parts.
The French Minister boasts robust pacing, screwball-comedy banter and an exuberant central performance. For most American viewers, though, the movie could use footnotes to go with its subtitles.
[Lhermitte's] energetic performance is by far the best reason to see the film, which should probably have been directed by somebody else; Tavernier has little flair for comedy.
A sparkling and savvy comedy of political manners.
It is never a good situation when a subtitled foreign release is highly dependent on words to get its point across—especially when those words are supposed to make you laugh.
Quai d’Orsay zips along at a good clip and benefits from the gruffly benevolent gravity of Arestrup, which offsets the machine-gun pace set by Lhermitte.