During his working day, transport Minister Bertrand Saint-Jean deals with chaos, power struggles and the economic crisis. He is awoken in the middle of the night by his head of staff. A bus has gone off the road into a gully. He has no choice but to go to the scene of the accident.
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Marvellous film that balances both an interesting portrait of the eponymous main character and political satire/commentary blended with odd sequences that border on the surreal. The soundtrack was also excellent and really created and riveting atmosphere. Olivier Gourmet really nails a difficult character and makes him a man of opposite extremes. A must see!
D'une rare efficacité démonstrative sur la frénésie existentielle d'un homme politique en exercice, avec en filigrane les stridulantes prérogatives liées à la fonction et les quotidiennes chausse-trappes de ses pairs, une oeuvre fascinée et fascinante par son pernicieux propos et les insidieux commentaires qu'elle génère, en affirmation et violence.
"So you have no vision?"
As the film sees it, vision is the sum of politicians' reactions to media-reactions to events or their accions. A vision is an image of a person, a biography, which, of course, is also built by media. The main character doesn't have a vision, yet, doesn't eblong in the fancy aristocratic decors and his only legitimation there is his team of specialists.
Intermittently satirical character study of a French minister which, after two thirds, goes from good to excellent. Requires some general familiarity with France's system of government. In the first half or so, a few elements are too overtly caricaturistic. That said, this is a rewarding and rare sort of movie. 8/10, allowing for subtitle flaws.
L'exercice de l'Etat est un film proche du documentaire sur les entrailles du pouvoir, ce grand vide de l'importance, la veulerie des commis, les odeurs nauséeuses des cabinets, le caporalisme... Une plongée dans la politique, ce petit oeuvre de comptables néolibéraux. Glaçant.