• Home  > 
  • Cinema & Film  > 
  • A Comedy Of Power (L'Ivresse Du Pouvoir) Film Review

A Comedy Of Power (L'Ivresse Du Pouvoir) (PG)

Film image

The ViewBirmingham Review

StarStarStarNo StarNo Star
Review byMatthew Turner12/12/2007

Three out of Five stars
Running time: 105 mins

Slow-moving, dialogue-heavy drama that nonetheless remains engaging thanks to Chabrol's assured direction and a terrific performance from Isabelle Huppert.

What's it all about?
Loosely based on a real-life case, A Comedy of Power stars Isabelle Huppert as Jeanne Charmant-Killman, a ruthless judge (nicknamed The Piranha) who's assigned the job of investigating a high profile case of corruption and embezzlement in a giant, state-sponsored corporation. When she arrests the neurotic CEO (Francois Berleand), he quickly implicates his superiors and Jeanne realises that the case extends into the upper echelons of government.

Meanwhile, Jeanne's obsession with her work begins to affect her marriage to Phillippe (Robin Renucci), especially when the death threats start and she has to have 24-hour bodyguard protection. As the shady government figures resort to ever more dirty tricks, Jeanne discovers that there are only two people she can really count on: her nephew (Thomas Chabrol) and her new associate (Marilyne Canto).

The Good
A Comedy of Power is Huppert's seventh collaboration with director Claude Chabrol and she gives one of her best performances to date as Jeanne, whether she's running rings around her various interviewees or stoically dealing with her own troubled home life. It's fascinating to watch Jeanne in action, particularly whenever she dons her bright red gloves.

Chabrol is often referred to as France's master of suspense and he doesn't disappoint in that regard, orchestrating some genuinely tense scenes and generating an oppressive atmosphere throughout.

The Bad
Aside from its deliberately slow pace, the film's biggest problem is that it's extremely dialogue heavy and occasionally very dull as a result, particularly as all the shadowy government types tend to blur into one.

Worth seeing?
Despite its misleading title and occasional pacing problems, A Comedy of Power is worth seeing for Isabelle Huppert's superb performance.

A Comedy Of Power (L'Ivresse Du Pouvoir) has been reviewed by 1 users
01 Focus (15)

Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Rodrigo Santoro

02 Selma (12A)

David Oyelowo, Carmen Ejogo, Tim Roth

03 Far from the Madding Crowd (tbc)

Carey Mulligan, Tom Sturridge, Matthias Schoenaert...

04 Chappie (tbc)

Hugh Jackman, Sigourney Weaver, Sharlto Copley

05 A Most Violent Year (15)

Oscar Isaac, Jessica Chastain, David Oyelowo

Content updated: 20/04/2019 23:58

Latest Film Reviews

Film Blog

Urban Pundit

Keep up to date with everything in film and cinema at Urban Pundit, the exciting new blog.

Film of the Week

The Conjuring (15)

Hugely enjoyable, genuinely scary horror flick that provides a welcome throwback to classic 1970s chillers, thanks to impeccable production design, a superb script, powerfully atmospheric direction, intense set-pieces and terrific performances.

Latest Close Up

Noah Baumbach Interview

The Frances Ha director discusses co-writing the script with Greta Gerwig, shooting against the backdrop of New York and the real lives of the city’s people, Greta Gerwig’s performance, the music in the film and the picture's visual style.