The Foal: a delightful political fresco [critique]

Alexandra Lamy chaperones Finnegan Oldfield in politics in Le Poulain to be seen tonight on TF1 series films.

First feature film by Mathieu Sapinknown in the world of comics, Foal draws the scenery of French politics in a comedy. Arnaud Jaurès (Finnegan Oldfield) joins the campaign team of a presidential candidate by chance. There he meets Agnès Karadzic (Alexandra Lamy), communications director who introduced him to power games and initiated him into campaign tactics, allowing him to climb the ladder one by one.

Released in 2018, First was won over by this feature film broadcast this evening on TF1 Séries Films from 9 p.m.:

Signing a political comedy requires finesse and tact. How to mock the Florentine power games that animate those who govern us without falling into the easy way of saying “all rotten?” For his first feature, comic book author Mathieu Sapin happily plays with these obstacles. First of all because he knows politics! We don't spend 200 days in the footsteps of candidate Hollande (Presidential campaign) and 365 others behind the scenes at the Elysée (The castle) without gleaning a host of nuggets that could be used to fuel a screenplay. Co-written with Noé Debré (The world is yours), this describes the irresistible rise of a political novice who, by chance, joins the campaign of a presidential candidate before climbing the ladder leading him closer to supreme power.

There is everything at once Black Baron and Quai d'Orsay in this Foal : a mastery of the subject that allows hilarious situations to arise. But Sapin mainly talks about this universal quest for power – common to all circles – and the inherent excesses that it engenders. And this without Manichean facility and with a mischief in his staging where we perceive the comic strip's touch. Sapin has fun without the slightest partisanship. We can see this in the choice of his actors: from Alexandra Lamy (at her best) to Finnegan Oldfield, via Philippe Katherine or Valérie Karsenti… Some are more accustomed to the small screen than the big one, others to more dramatic registers than to comedy. And Sapin mixes all these people with a fresh and inspired look.



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