Bernadette (2023)

October 4th, 2023
Author: Meredith Taylor

Dir/Wri: Lea Domenach | Cast: Catherine Deneuve, Denis Podalydes, Sara Girardeau | France Comedy drama 90′

Behind every great man there’s an even greater woman. And Catherine Deneuve gives a laconic comedy turn in this political biopic based on Bernadette Chirac (1933-) and the final years of popular French president Jacques Chirac, who held two terms of office from the mid nineties until 2007.

Bernadette (1933-) is clearly not a woman to be trifled with and Deneuve fits the role perfectly as the deceptively savvy second fiddle to her successful spouse (played by Michel Vuillermoz).

Feeling sidelined at the Elysee Palace when her daughter (Sara Girardeau) lands a plumb job, this indomitable sixty something showstopper steps out of the sidelines and reinvents herself as a media personality playing the press – and her husband with sparky savoir faire to become a political icon in her own right.

In the semi-fictionalised drama director Lea Domenach shares script duties with Clemence Dargent. A star-studded cast is bolstered by a drole and deadpan Denis Podalydes as the First Lady’s right hand man. Lovers of Deneuve will lap up this snappy satire with its retro costumes and settings in Reims, Epernay and the Palais of Versailles itself. MT




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