The movie The Conquest is said to shed light on one of the greatest mysteries of Nicholas Sarkozy’s presidency– why Cecilia Sarkozywalked out on him on the night he was elected in 2007. (See Related Newsand Photos)
Xavier Durringer starring Hippolyte Girardot, Grégory Fitoussi and Denis Podalydès
Directed by Xavier Durringer, “The Conquest” focuses on French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s rise to power, telling, in flashback, of his “journey, starting in 2002, when then-president Jacques Chirac told himhe wouldn’t appoint him prime minister, and how Sarkozy went on to win power but lost his marriage.” The film is described as “a character-driven political thriller” with comparison being made to “The Queen” and “The West Wing.” The cast is largely unknown on this side of the pond (i.e: US), but Denis Podalydès has stepped into the lead role of Sarkozy, and the film isworking off a script by Patrick Rotman who is very familiar with thecorridors of French political power, having previously direct documentaries on Francois Mitterand and Jacques Chirac.
The film is currently in post-production, and some new stills have been released. The project looks impeccably shot and seems to be avery glossy look at the French politician. It hits theaters in France on May11th, one year before their next election
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About the Film:
A new film about French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s rise to power scared off promoters with its red-hot political theme, its producers said on Friday.
“We were faced with a hot potato… Everyone threw it on to someone else,”said Eric Altmayer, joint producer of the movie titled “La Conquete”(“Conquest”), in an interview published on the movie website Evene.fr.
“From the start, the project was considered dangerous and risky,” he said, adding that French public television channels “all turned the film down.”
“The script was leaked here and there,” said his brother and co-producer Nicolas Altmayer. “I am convinced, even if I have no proof, that it went all the way to the Elysee,” the presidential palace.
Thanks to a track record of successful movies including the “OSS” spoof spy adventures, the two managed to get backers to make the film, with director Xavier Durringer at the helm.
They said they have entered it for this May’s Cannes Film Festival, whose selection has not yet been announced, and have scheduled it for release in French cinemasin May.
Respected stage actor Denis Podalydes plays the main role, resembling Sarkozy in dark blue suits and cropped curly hair, in the story of an ambitious politician’s road to the presidency, complete with real Sarkozy quotes.
“We thought the French public broadcasters were going to commit to the project like the BBC committed to ‘The Queen,'” said Eric Altmayer, referring to the British film about Queen Elizabeth II.
“Then they said no, without any explanation,” he added.
“This soft self-censorship explains why in France there are almost never any films made about politics.”
The movie The Conquest is saidto shed light on one of the greatest mysteries of his presidency – why Cecilia Sarkozywalked out on him on the night he was elected in 2007.
It is the first film about aFrench president to be released while he is still in office.
France’s Pure People website said: ‘This is highly embarrassing for the president.
‘This film is a bit of a hot potato and quite a few potential backers pulled out.’
The movie, which portrays his rise to power in the five years before he was elected, opens with Mr Sarkozy waking up alone at a hotel on the Champs-Elysees after celebrating his election victory.
He is then shown spending his first day as president searching in vain for the wife he married in 1996, a former top model and mother of his youngest son Louis, 13.
A scene set on the previous evening later shows him pleading with Ms Sarkozy, now 52, to attend the celebrations.
She finally turns up but isseen crying by his side during the party and then leaves alone.
The couple divorced later that year. Ms Sarkozy had had an affair with American millionaire Richard Attias while the president had slept with a young reporter.