Xavier Giannoli’s “Marguerite” is a charming, even beguiling multilevel comedy of manners set in France in 1921, with acting stalwart Catherine Frot embodying the naïve ambitions of Marguerite Dumont, a baroness-turned-amateur soprano. The character name is cagily akin to that of Groucho Marx’s frumpy foil, Margaret Dumont, while the character is loosely inspired by Florence Foster Jenkins, an American singer of the 1940s who committed similar sins against pitch and tune and aural decorum. Richly appointed, emotionally confrontational, often rollickingly funny, “Marguerite” is candied tragicomedy, and Giannoli and Frot demonstrate all the expressive control their character fails to attain in her mad goal of succeeding at public performance. Frot won the 2015 César for Best Actress. With André Marcon, Michel Fau, Christa Théret. 127m. (Ray Pride)
“Marguerite” opens Friday, March 25 at Landmark Century. The tasty trailer is below.
Ray Pride is Newcity’s film critic and a contributing editor to Filmmaker magazine.
His history of Chicago “Ghost Signs” in words and images will be published in Spring 2022.