Director: Bertrand Tavernier
Cast: Thierry Lhermitte, Raphaël Personnaz, Niels Arestrup, Anaïs Demoustier, Julie Gayet, Jane Birkin
Country: France, 2013
Duration: 113 minutes
Rating: M – offensive language
Alexandre Taillard de Vorms (played by the great Thierry Lhermitte) is a force to be reckoned with, waging bureaucratic war in the name of Legitimacy, Lucidity and Efficiency! He takes on American neo-cons, corrupt Russians and money-grabbing Chinese, all with gallic panache.
Into this ordered chaos, steps the young Arthur Vlaminck (Raphaël Personnaz), graduate of the elite National School of Administration, hired as the Head of Language at the foreign ministry. In other words, he is to write the minister’s speeches. But he also has to learn to deal with the sensibilities of the boss and his entourage, and find his way between the private secretary and the special advisors who stalk the corridors of the Quai d’Orsay – the ministry’s home – where stress, ambition and dirty dealing are the daily currency. Arthur still hopes he can influence the fate of the world, despite the state of inertia everyone seems to prefer.
Best known for his sweeping historical epics such as The Princess of Montpensier, Quai d’Orsay is a significant shift in gear for veteran French auteur Bertrand Tavernier, whose hilarious depiction of this government office can only result in fits of laughter.