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(Updated April 20)



Alice et le maire

(Alice And The Mayor)

Alice (Anaïs Demoustier), a young philosopher, is called to the rescue when the mayor of Lyon (Fabrice Luchini), a seasoned politician, realizes he’s run out of ideas. She is to provide him with inspiration.

Poster for the philoopher-meets-politician drama Alice et le MaireThe mayor begins to enjoy their exchanges; a sharing of ideas which sets out with clarity and simplicity what it is that politics can do today, what it can’t do and what it can no longer do, all the while painting an unvarnished picture of the work that goes on in town halls.

Weaving a detailed and fascinating exploration of a subject of public interest, Nicolas Pariser manages to convey the different faces of a democratic crisis, without imposing oversimplified notions of right and wrong.

A film of many words, the story unfurls smoothly, and with humour, thanks to the depth of the dialogue, which the two protagonists deliver with aplomb. The film is a great example of the universally useful thinking space that cinema can provide under cover of a sensitively handled and intelligent comedy.

– Fabien Lemercier, CineEuropa

Panique à l’hôtel de ville : Paul Théraneau (Fabrice Luchini), le maire socialiste de Lyon, n’arrive plus à penser. Pire, il n’a plus la niaque, et ça commence à se voir. Sa directrice de cabinet engage Alice (Anaïs Demoustier), une jeune diplômée en philosophie d’Oxford, pour « prendre du recul et travailler aux idées ».

Cette dernière enjoint à Théraneau d’être plus modeste, lui parle de la « décence commune » théorisée par Orwell, lui fait lire « les Rêveries du promeneur solitaire ». Surtout, par sa méconnaissance des us et autres salamalecs, elle casse le ronron absurde et les automatismes stériles de l’entre-soi politique. Bientôt, Théraneau ne peut plus se passer d’Alice.

Alice et le maire est bien vu, admirablement dialogué, remarquablement joué. Très français, jusque dans sa forme étriquée. « Pourquoi ceux qui agissent ne pensent pas et pourquoi ceux qui pensent n’agissent pas ? » se demande le réalisateur Nicolas Pariser.

Nicolas Schaller, Le Nouvel Observateur

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