Reaping top awards at the 2022 Césars, this majestic, lavish fresco adapted from Balzac’s masterpiece paints a cruel portrait of 19th century Parisian society and the burgeoning world of the press, which has startling contemporary overtones.
Lucien, an idealistic young poet, harbours ambitions reaching well beyond the borders of provincial France and his family’s small printing business. Stirred by the attentions, both financial and sexual, of a wealthy patron, Louise de Bargeton, he soon finds himself catapulted into the dizzying bustle of Paris. Here his great expectations and brazen social climbing clash with reality: poetry falls by the wayside as the parvenu swiftly learns to peddle his prose to the highest bidder; he will love, suffer and survive his illusions. – Sandra Reid, NZIFF
“Lost Illusions is sensational. Nobody paid me to say that. Well, actually, The New York Times did, but you should believe me anyway.” ~A.O. Scott, The New York Times
“A sumptuous yet piercing, an expertly plotted social-relations saga of the kind that once typified prestige Hollywood cinema, and it dives into moral quandaries rather than dispensing easy bromides.” ~Kyle Smith, Wall Street Journal