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The Minister, directed by Pierre Schöller

4 out of 4 stars

The Minister
Directed by
Pierre Schöller
France / Belgium

It's a toss-up who does better political dramas, the Brits or the French. But there's little doubt that this Cannes-winner from Pierre Schöller is a masterful bit of filmmaking: taking what should be a humdrum subject – a psychological profile of a power-hungry second-tier politician (Olivier Gourmet as Bertrand Saint-Jean, France's minister of transportation) – and turning it into a rip-roaring thriller, replete with fiery bus crashes and personal betrayal. Saint-Jean is something of an enigma: changing his message and delivery depending on the audience, and failing to build close relationships with anyone in his life, save his private secretary Gilles (played by the incredible Michel Blanc). Their friendship is put to the test when Saint-Jean is asked by the President to proceed with privatization of France's railway stations – a plan that the principled Gilles opposes. Fasten your seatbelt: The final 30 minutes are quite the ride.

Sept. 28, 9 p.m. Granville 3; Sept. 30, 11:40 a.m. Granville 3; Oct. 4, 11:40 a.m. Granville 3

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