french films > A Comedy of Power (L’Ivresse du pouvoir)

A Comedy of Power (L’Ivresse du pouvoir)

L’Ivresse du pouvoir

A Comedy of Power (L’Ivresse du pouvoir)

Review score: * * * * *

cast: Isabelle Huppert, François Berléand, Patrick Bruel

year: 2006

colour: yes


director: Claude Chabrol

runtime: 110

A sleek, hand-tooled, sophisticated entertainment, Claude Chabrol's latest film artfully walks a line between moral comedy and political thriller. Isabelle Huppert plays Jeanne Charmant-Killman, aka the 'Piranha', an examining magistrate assigned to untangle a vipers' nest of high-level bureaucratic chicanery. Her new post catapults her into the public eye and boosts her already considerable powers: woe betide the executive whose office suffers one of Jeanne's surprise raids. But Jeanne's work as a professional nemesis has its own subtly damaging effects on her personal life. A Comedy of Power is a witty - and typically for Chabrol, more than a little pessimistic - examination of the abuses and psychological ill-effects of privilege (the French title is more accurately translated as 'The Drunkenness of Power'). A blue-chip supporting cast adds to the acidic fun: among the corrupt captains of business, Berléand is impeccably nervy, while Jean-François Balmer gives a masterclass in the art of shiftiness. As for Huppert, she's at her brittle best.


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