L'illusion comique

Mathieu Amalric

A father is looking for the son he hasn’t seen for years in this contemporary adaptation of the seventeenth-century play by Pierre Corneille. Acted vivaciously by performers from the Comédie Française, who recite their texts in alexandrines.

In the eight years that Mathieu Amalric had to wait to complete Tournée (Best Director at Cannes 2010), the actor/director was commissioned by the Comédie Française to make this adaptation of Pierre Corneille’s 1635 play. A tour de force considering the alexandrines in which Corneille wrote the story, maintained in the new version. L’illusion comique, part of a series of contemporary theatre films by the Comédie, tells the story of a father looking for a son who left home years before. In order to find out what he’s doing, the father hires a magician: the concierge of a hotel, where a room with security cameras replaces the old magic crystal ball. Travelling back and forth in time, the video shots reveal the son's large, tragicomic life. The continuous play of watching and being watched, fiction and reality, turn L’illusion comique into a homage to the playwright and theatrical illusion.

More information

Mathieu Amalric
Production country & year
France - 2010
88 min
International premiere
Screen play
Mathieu Amalric based on the play by Pierre Corneille
Muriel Mayette, Jean-Baptiste Malartre, Denis Podalydes
Isabelle Razavet
Annette Dutertre
Production design
Charlotte Ortiz
Sound design
Séverin Favriau
Martin Wheeler