"The twentieth century's greatest playwright. His play is about two losers looking for a brighter future" (Etienne coaches his troupe on the virtues of Samuel Becket and his play, Waiting for Godot).
Inspired by true events; out of work actor Etienne Carboni(Kad Merad) takes a job as a drama teacher at one of France's high security prisons. He believes he can turn his ramshackle group into competent amateur performers via a rendition of Samuel Becket's, Waiting for Godot. The outcome is worth the wait. Naturalistic French film making (of a Swedish story) at its best.
This might sound something like a teacher overcomes adversity to make the world a better place, genre set piece. In some ways it is, but in more ways it's social drama with a life lesson played out closely to the reality of what actually happened. And in most respects it is a relevant tale. This genre, done well, often attracts a crowd.
The actors, playing prisoners, star here in Triomphe. Unlike Nomadland, whichused characters actually living a life on the road, Triomphe has chosen 5 actors who give the sense of naturalism director Emmanual Courcol so keenly seeks. The thought that inmates will depict classic stage craft (Beckett) to a professional standard in front of a live audience is fanciful but we believe in the standards set by the cast here. Adriane (Mariana Hands) is a rock as the progressive warden, she deserves a credit.
The reason this story has come to the screen stems from a performance that is now world renowned and still performed by the real life Carboni. His one-man show had its accidental origins in the story that is Un Triomphe. It's the perfect punctuation for this well balanced, satisfying social drama. 10GUMS.
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