Fifth about The Seventh

Lost Illusions (Illusions Perdues) (2021)

Lost Illusions: Xavier Giannoli’s adaptation of Honoré de Balzac tells a tale of ambition that is very engaging by itself. On top of that, it adds a scathing criticism of post-truth media, where facts and loyalty are for sale to the highest bidder. The tale of this poet that goes from the provinces to Paris and tries to make a name for himself is, naturally, a tragedy, a cautionary tale, and a good one at that. Benjamin Voisin plays nicely the young poet, who goes from a romantic nobody to a prepotent somebody. Cécile de France, as his patron, gives a very quiet and dignified performance. Vincent Lacoste and Xavier Dolan, as the protagonist’s friends-rivals, are solid. The film is beautifully done, with cinematographer Christophe Beaucarne elegantly capturing the action. The costumes (by designer Pierre-Jean Larroque) and the production design (by Riton Dupire-Clément) are luscious.

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