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The Conquest

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In The Conquest, Denis Podalydès delivers a witty yet commanding portrayal of Nicolas Sarkozy and his rise to the French presidency through the lens of his unraveling marriage to then-wife Cecilia (Florence Pernel). Never one to disguise his ambition, the film’s Sarkozy curries favor with predecessor Jacques Chirac (Bernard Le Coq) and spars gamely with glib rival Dominique de Villepin (Samuel Labarthe). This lampoon depicts the future president of France as a bold and unashamed virtuoso of political combat, whose inattention to his disintegrating domestic partnership emerges as his chief vulnerability. With leads brilliantly etching sharp characterizations of living politicians, director Xavier Durringer need never veer too far from reality, even while deploying fictional embellishments and a larger-than-life sense of humor that—with Nicola Piovani’s buoyant score—giddily evoke a circus-like atmosphere.

Reactions, Awards & Festivals

"A crisp adult drama...Smartly explores its thesis that politics is "a stupid job done by smart people.""

Kenneth Turan

Los Angeles Times

"[A] classy, witty portrait of French president Nicolas Sarkozy- and a very rare example of a political biopic made while the subject is still in power."

Jonathan Romney


Cesar Award Nominations 2012 - Best Actor (Denis Podalydes) Best Supporting Actor (Bernard Le Coq)

Cannes Film Festival 2011 - Official Selection

Cast & Crew
  • Nicolas Sarkozy : Denis Podalydès
  • Cécilia Sarkozy : Florence Pernel
  • Jacques Chirac : Bernard Le Coq
  • Bernadette Chirac : Michèle Moretti
  • Director : Xavier Durringer
  • Writers : Xavier Durringer (adaptation), Patrick Rotman (screenplay)
  • Producers : Eroc Altmeyer, Nicolas Altmeyer
  • Cinematography : Gilles Porte
  • Editor : Catherine Schwartz
  • Original Music : Nicola Piovani
Technical Info
  • Production Year : 2011
  • Release Date : November 11, 2011
  • Countries of Production : France
  • Languages : French
  • Running Time : 105 minutes
  • Screen Ratio : 2.35:1
  • Sound : Dolby Digital
  • Color : Color
  • Rating : Not Rated
DVD/Blu-Ray Special Features

The making of The Conquest

Teaser and Theatrical Trailer