10 June 2014

Cycling With Moliere

What was the last movie (film, if you're a snotty intellectual like me) you saw about cycling?  

They don't come around very often, do they?  It's a bit surprising, given that there are so many photographic images and a pretty fair amount of art of or about bicycles or bicycling.

A few weeks ago, Alceste a Bicyclette (Cycling with Moliere) was released in the USA, after first being screened in France late last year. 

In the film, soap opera star Gauthier Valence (played by Lambert Wilson) travels to the wet, windswept Ile de Re to convince his friend, reclusive actor  Serge Tanneur (Fabrice Luchini) to star in a production of Moliere's comedy of manners.

But Tanneur has exiled himself to a family manor that's seen better days after suffering a nervous breakdown some three years earlier.  Tanneur is as misanthropic and dismissive of society's conventions as Moliere's character. But can Valence induce Tanneur's love of Moliere overcome his reclusiveness?  Or will Valence's vision fall to Tanneur's refusal to re-engage with the world--or in some clash between his and Valence's egos?  (That's what actors do when they get together. Trust me; I know.)

The reviews of the film are mixed.  But I'm tempted to check it out just because it's about cycling and Moliere--and because I've heard Luchini give some beautiful readings of Baudelaire and other French writers.  


  1. I have a DVD if you ever drop by. I love it, even if there is not as much cycling as there could be... It came out the year when I spent a windy week on that island cycling with a couple of girlfriends.

  2. Coline--I will drop by one day. It sounds like just the sort of thing to watch during a windy week!