There are shades of Pride and Prejudice in the latest film from writer-director Laurent Tirard (The Story of My Life, Molière), not least in the naming of its heroine, and the film is a delight from start to finish. TIME OUT
The dashing and debonair Academy Award-winning actor from The Artist, Jean Dujardin, lights up the screen as a swashbuckling lothario-turned-faux-hero in a bawdy new comedy from writer-director Laurent Tirard (Little Nicholas); the brand new “OSS at Napoleon’s time”.
It is 1809 in France and the great seducer, Captain Neuville (Jean Dujardin), comes to ask for the hand of the young Pauline (Noémie Merlant) in marriage. But Pauline’s sister, Elisabeth (Mélanie Laurent, Boomerang, and possibly best-known to English language audiences as Shosanna in Quentin Tarantino’s Inglorious Bastards, 2009) proves impervious to Neuville’s charms.
When Neuville is called to the front and Pauline sits anxiously waiting for news, Elisabeth takes to the pen and, through her valiant prose, makes him a real hero of war when the reality is decidedly different. Then Neuville returns for his bride…
Part Casanova, part Cyrano de Bergerac and many parts funny, THE RETURN OF THE HERO comes together through the chemistry of its enigmatic leads, particularly Dujardin and Laurent, who are unimpeachable in their comic abilities.
Directed by LAURENT TIRARD
Jean Dujardin, Mélanie Laurent, Noémie Merlant, Féodor Atkine
Duration: 90 mins
Country of Origin: France
FRENCH WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES