The latest entry to Bertrand Tavernier‘s diverse canon is a political satire that’s inspired by a comic book. Quai D’Orsay opened on Wednesday in France, scoring the best first-screening numbers in Paris, but ended up second overall for the day, behind another French film, En Solitaire. Both widely outperformed other new entries Inside Llewyn Davis and Ender’s Game. Quai D’Orsay stars veteran actor Thierry Lhermitte as Foreign Affairs Minister Alexandre Taillard de Vorms, an extravagant aristocrat who’s constantly in motion. The film has made some noise in France since the lead character is based on former Foreign Affairs Minister (later Prime Minister) Dominique de Villepin, the silver-haired international emblem of France’s opposition to the invasion of Iraq. The film’s source comic, Quai D’Orsay – Chroniques Diplomatiques, is co-authored by Abel Lanzac, a pseudonym for Antonin Baudry, who worked as an advisor to de Villepin. In the farcical look at the inner workings of the Foreign Affairs Ministry, de Vorms hires a young speechwriter, played by Raphaël Personnaz, to be his head of language. Niels Arestrup also stars. Quai D’Orsay won the screenplay prize in San Sebastian and screened in Toronto. Pathé is handling international sales at the AFM.
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