Bicycling With Moliere

A purveyor of fine social comedies (The Cost of Living, The Women on the 6th Floor), French writer-director Philippe le Guay turns his attention to no less formidable a subject than France’s premier wordsmith. In this charming if forgettable buddy romp (2013), a popular TV actor (Lambert Wilson) and a retired thespian (Fabrice Luchini) rehearse The Misanthrope in hope of staging it as the TV star’s theatrical debut. The film cheekily echoes the play’s themes and situations, but it’s most interesting as it examines the text from an actor’s perspective. Luchini, a frequent le Guay collaborator and reputed Moliere fanatic, is fascinating to watch as he dissects the play with intelligence and gusto, blurring the line between his character’s process and his own personal fascination. With Maya Sansa. In French with subtitles.