The Conquest | Chicago Reader

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Rated NR · 105 minutes · 2011

This French biopic of Nicolas Sarkozy plays like a competent TV miniseries, moving briskly and focusing on the hustle and bustle of electoral politics as the protagonist climbs toward the presidency. Writer-director Xavier Durringer begins in April 2000 with President Jacques Chirac (Bernard Le Coq) promising to make Sarkozy (Denis Podalydes) minister of the interior, and shows how Sarkozy bided his time, in that post and then as finance minister, while he learned to sell his brand of conservatism to voters. But the real story is at home, where the pressure of public life has soured his marriage to Cécilia Ciganer-Albéniz (Florence Pernel); she can barely tolerate his omnipresent crew of conniving young staffers, and when she leaves Sarkozy for another man, there's no way for her to exit but through the 24-hour news cycle. In French with subtitles.
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Director: Xavier Durringer
Producer: Eric Altmeyer and Nicolas Altmeyer
Cast: Denis Podalydès, Florence Pernel, Bernard Le Coq, Michèle Moretti, Samuel Labarthe, Hippolyte Girardot, Mathias Mlekuz, Grégory Fitoussi, Pierre Cassignard and Emmanuel Noblet

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