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USA: Sony Pictures Classics
UK: Pathe Distribution
Cast: Romain Duris, Fabrice Luchini, Laura Morante, Edouard Baer, Ludivine Sagnier, Fanny Valette, Melanie Dos Santos, Gonzague Montuel, Gilian Petrovsky, Sophie-Charlotte Husson, Arie Elmaleh, eric Berger
Director: Laurent Tirard
Language: French (English subtitles)
UK: 120 mins
USA Rated: PG-13 for some sexual content
UK Certificate: 12A contains one scene of moderate sex
USA Release Date: 27 July 2007 (Limited Release - New York and Los Angeles)
UK Release Date: 13 July 2007 (Limited Release)
22 year-old Jean-Baptiste Poquelin, also known as Moliere (Romain Duris), hasn't yet aspired to become the writer that history recognizes as the father and true master of comic satire, author of The Misanthrope and Tartuffe, and a dramatist to rank alongside Shakespeare and Sophocles.
By contrast he is a failed actor and his Illustrious Theatre Troupe that he founded the previous year is bankrupt. Pursued by creditors, Moliere is thrown into jail, released, and then swiftly imprisoned again. When the jailors finally let him go, he disappears. The combined efforts of historians have unearthed no trace of him before his reappearance, several months later, when his troupe begins touring the provinces - a tour that will last for thirteen years, and climax when Moliere returns triumphantly to Paris.
But what happened to Moliere during these mysterious lost months?
Moliere has had his debts paid by a wealthy bourgeois, Monsieur Jourdain (Fabrice Luchini) and released from jail on the understanding that he will teach his benefactor the craft of the stage.
Jourdain, hungry for recognition, is infatuated with the lovely but dangerous Celimene (Ludivine Sagnier), whose salon gathers together suitors and great wits. Jourdain's affair must remain a secret from his wife Elmire (Laura Morante), a wonderful woman with whom Moliere himself will fall headlong in love. To cover himself Jourdain has introduced Moliere as Monsieur Tartuffe, an austere private tutor, to justify his presence.
Trapped in this untenable situation, Moliere will experience all manner of events that will open his eyes and his mind, both to life itself and to his work as an artist. And it is from the heart of this tale, from his passion for Elmire, that Moliere the great dramatist is born.