Denise Lanctot
June 27, 1997 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Ridicule

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
R
runtime
102 minutes
performer
Judith Godreche, Patrice Leconte, Remi Waterhouse
director
Patrice Leconte
distributor
Epithète Films
author
Remi Waterhouse
genre
Drama, Foreign Language

We gave it a B+

Patrice Leconte’s engaging comedy of manners about Louis XVI’s court, where wit was king and ridicule could kill, transfers to video tres bien. Remi Waterhouse’s script of Ridicule concerns a kind and — lucky for him — witty engineer (Chales Berling) who seeks royal funds to drain his village’s malarial swamps. To win the king’s favor, he must first win the French Open Mouth, an endless dissing contest in which ignoble nobles bandy wordplay and serve up ruthless jest. An off-court romance between Berling and a beautiful young scientist is sweetly satisfying, and Fanny Ardant’s countess goes down like vintage Bordeaux. B+

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