The Conquest (2011) Poster

The Conquest (2011)

  • Rate: 6.3/10 total 549 votes 
  • Genre: Biography
  • Release Date: 18 May 2011 (Belgium)
  • Runtime: 105 min
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The Conquest (2011)


The Conquest 2011tt1711484.jpg poster

  • IMDb page: The Conquest (2011)
  • Rate: 6.3/10 total 549 votes 
  • Genre: Biography
  • Release Date: 18 May 2011 (Belgium)
  • Runtime: 105 min
  • Filming Location: Aéroport de Paris-Roissy-Charles de Gaulle – BP 20102, Roissy-en-France, Val-d'Oise, France
  • Gross: $68,479(USA)(26 February 2012)
  • Director: Xavier Durringer
  • Stars: Denis Podalydès, Florence Pernel and Bernard Le Coq
  • Original Music By: Nicola Piovani   
  • Sound Mix: Dolby Digital
  • Plot Keyword: French President | Prime Minister | Dysfunctional Couple | Control Freak | Government Minister

Writing Credits By:

    (in alphabetical order)

  • Xavier Durringer  adaptation (dialogue)
  • Patrick Rotman  screenplay (dialogue)

Known Trivia

  • François Ozon turned down the opportunity to direct the movie.
  • François Cluzet was originally slated to play Sarkozy, and Lambert Wilson to play Dominique de Villepin. But they both backed out and were replaced by Denis Podalydès and Samuel Labarthe.

Plot: A look at French president Nicolas Sarkozy's rise to power. |  »

Story: A look at French president Nicolas Sarkozy's rise to power.

FullCast & Crew

Produced By:

  • Eric Altmeyer known as producer
  • Nicolas Altmeyer known as producer

FullCast & Crew:

  • Denis Podalydès known as Nicolas Sarkozy
  • Florence Pernel known as Cécilia Sarkozy
  • Bernard Le Coq known as Jacques Chirac
  • Michèle Moretti known as Bernadette Chirac
  • Samuel Labarthe known as Dominique de Villepin
  • Emmanuel Noblet known as Bruno Le Maire
  • Hippolyte Girardot known as Claude Guéant
  • Mathias Mlekuz known as Franck Louvrier
  • Grégory Fitoussi known as Laurent Solly
  • Pierre Cassignard known as Frédéric Lefèbvre
  • Dominique Besnehard known as Pierre Charon
  • Michel Bompoil known as Henri Guaino
  • Saïda Jawad known as Rachida Dati
  • Gérard Chaillou known as Jean-Louis Debré
  • Nicolas Moreau known as Pierre Giacometti
  • Yann Babilée known as Richard Attias (as Yann Babilée Keogh)
  • Fabrice Cals known as Michaël Darmon
  • Laurent Olmedo known as Philippe Ridet
  • Bruno López known as Jean-François Achilli
  • Jean-Pierre Léonardini known as Bruno Jeudy
  • Laurent Claret known as Philippe Rondot
  • Dominique Daguier known as Jean-Louis Gergorin
  • Vincent Jouan known as Caméraman France 2
  • Frédéric Barbe known as Ingénieur du son France 2 (as Frédéric Duff Barbé)
  • Marine Royer known as Delphine Byrka
  • Monica Abularach known as Elodie Grégoire
  • Patrick Rotman known as Présentateur TV
  • Ellie Tardy known as Journaliste blonde
  • Lyré Gonty known as Hôtesse Fouquet's
  • Ghislaine Pons known as Ouvrière usine
  • Philippe Maymat known as Garde du corps Nicolas Sarkozy
  • Frédéric Piatti known as Garde du corps Nicolas Sarkozy
  • Christophe Thuillier known as Garde du corps Nicolas Sarkozy
  • Cyrille De Bréville known as Garde du corps Nicolas Sarkozy
  • Marco Bella known as Garde du corps Nicolas Sarkozy
  • Nicolas Pucheu known as Garde du corps Nicolas Sarkozy
  • Cyril Vendola known as Garde du corps Nicolas Sarkozy
  • Philippe Scaglia known as Garde du corps Nicolas Sarkozy
  • Xavier Fillol known as Garde du corps Nicolas Sarkozy
  • Bernard Molmy known as Huissier Élysée
  • Jean-Pierre Rupp known as Huissier Élysée
  • Jean Miez known as Photographe
  • Dominique Tufano known as Le commissaire
  • Isabelle Auvray known as Conseillère Sarkozy
  • Marina Fonteneau known as Conseillère Villepin
  • Bob Sanzey known as Conseiller Chirac
  • Agnès Parmentier known as Assistante Pierre Giacometti
  • Jérémie Fontaine known as Louis Sarkozy
  • Gabrielle Atger known as La fille de Cécilia Sarkozy
  • Stéphane Roquet known as Vigile Fouquet's
  • Mireille Vandekerkhove known as Femme Fouquet's
  • Patricia Verneau known as Jeune femme blonde piscine
  • Jean-François Grammes known as Technicien régie
  • Sylvie Raspail known as Hôtesse de l'air
  • Aurélien Théreaux known as Commandant de bord
  • Jérôme Bézier known as Pilote Zodiac
  • Stéphane Guérineau known as Pilote Zodiac
  • Jean-Luc Guérineau known as Pilote Zodiac
  • Anne Sophie Level known as Assistante Richard Attias (as Anne-Sophie Level)
  • Eric Moreau known as Un ouvrier usine visité par Sarko en 2005 (uncredited)
  • Christophe Rouzaud known as Un ouvrier usine visité par Sarko en 2005 (uncredited)



Supporting Department

Makeup Department:
  • Virginie Berland known as wigs
  • Dominique Colladant known as special makeup effects artist
  • Virginie Duranteau known as key hair stylist
  • Anne Moralis known as wig maker
  • Liliane Rametta known as key makeup artist
  • Liliane Rametta known as makeup designer
  • Catherine Vrignaud known as makeup artist

Art Department:

  • Eric Braye known as property master
  • Kamel Chetouane known as assistant art director
  • Nicolas Contre known as property master
  • Nicolas Contre known as set dresser
  • Cécilia Duhamel known as on-set dresser
  • Xavier Floris known as assistant art director
  • Edo Husakovic known as assistant property master
  • Enrico Pittiglio known as painter
  • Manuel Poulain known as carpenter
  • Vincent Stupar known as assistant art director
  • Pierre Zouaoui known as assistant art director




Production Companies:

  • Gaumont
  • Mandarin Films (as Mandarin Cinéma)
  • Canal+ (participation)
  • CinéCinéma (participation)
  • Sofica Manon (in association with)
  • Cofimage 22 (in association with)
  • Cofinova 7 (in association with)
  • Uni Étoile 8 (in association with)


  • Benelux Film Distributors (2011) (Belgium) (theatrical)
  • Benelux Film Distributors (2011) (Netherlands) (theatrical)
  • E1 Films Canada (2011) (Canada) (theatrical)
  • Gaumont (2011) (France) (theatrical)
  • Music Box Films (2011) (USA) (theatrical) (subtitled)
  • Odeon (2011) (Greece) (theatrical)
  • Lumière Home Entertainment (2011) (Netherlands) (DVD)



Other Stuff

Visual Effects by:
  • Laurent Brett known as main title designer
  • David Danesi known as visual effects supervisor
  • Vincent Leroy known as visual effects coordinator
  • Gregory Tournier known as visual effects coordinator
  • Sofi Vaillant known as digital compositor

Release Date:

  • Belgium 18 May 2011
  • France 18 May 2011 (Cannes Film Festival) (premiere)
  • France 18 May 2011
  • Netherlands 14 July 2011
  • Greece 23 September 2011 (Athens Film Festival)
  • Germany 1 October 2011 (Hamburg Film Festival)
  • Spain 25 October 2011 (Valladolid Film Festival)
  • Greece 10 November 2011
  • USA 11 November 2011 (limited)
  • Spain 13 April 2012



Filmography links and data courtesy of The Internet Movie Database

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Posted on March 29, 2012 by Harry in Movies | Tags: , .


  1. GUENOT PHILIPPE ( from France
    29 Mar 2012, 6:25 pm

    I will be straight. I find this feature absolutely exquisite. I havenever seen a film like this before, about a president still in actionwith so much resemblance between the characters and the actual people.Everything is very close to the reality here: faces, talking, manners,every thing. We can watch here the greedy, ambitious, ruthless meansSarkozy uses to succeed in power. He is very well described in thismovie, of which we already know the ending. Still now. But no one canpredict how the future, in 2012, will be like for the midget president.

    It's not a masterpiece, just watch it as entertainment. You won't seeanother film like this before a long time. But I hope to be wrong.

    A real must.

  2. ( from United States
    29 Mar 2012, 6:25 pm

    The other reviewer spoke about how good the imitators are here, andit's true. The actors who play the parts of Chirac, de Villepin, and afew of the other roles, look a great deal like their real-lifecounterparts. But that wasn't what most interested me in this veryentertaining movie. This is really a no-holds-barred presentation ofSarkozy as a monomaniacal, power-hungry little despot. I couldn'timagine such a film being made about a sitting president here in theUS. Even Michael Moore's depiction of Bush during the 9/11 disaster,while it ridicules him, comes nowhere close to this sort of thing. Nordoes Frost/Nixon, which of course was filmed long after Nixon leftoffice.

    Where fact stopped and fiction/imagination begins I didn't always know.But this is one very devastating movie, all the more so because DenisPodalydes does not settle for some sort of caricature, which, givenSarkozy's personal ticks, would have been easy. He gives a verydeveloped, well-rounded presentation of a rather frightening, and notreally funny, individual – who could learn a lot about himself bywatching this movie.

  3. ngreenha-215-109373 from Chicago
    29 Mar 2012, 6:25 pm

    The Conquest has exceptional acting, a brutally honest script, noattempt to sweeten a power-monger from what he/she is. An top-notchcase study in what the ultimate "Type A" personalities (presidentialcandidates) are like, Durringer succeeds with The Conquest where Stonefailed with Nixon and W by over-sentimentalizing the ruthless,power-hungry nature of their subjects by emphasizing an altruism that'snot really there. The fact that its subject matter may not beimmediately familiar shouldn't deter you from watching the movie, asthe characters are well-acted enough you'll be entertained anyway. Willyou sympathize with Podalydes' version of Sarkozy? At times, as hischaracter isn't a clear-cut hero or villain but a number of shades ofgray in this docudrama-like approach that is much different thanBrolin's version of W. The Conquest is the best political drama I'veseen in years. I wish that it went on to cover Sarkozy's courtship ofCarla Bruni, but I suppose that could make a good sequel.

  4. Jan Willem Wilkens from Alkmaar, Netherlands
    29 Mar 2012, 6:25 pm

    A president's rise to power. But I don't think it is very typical forSarkozy. These are the motions for all political flyer's. (Obama isprobably the same kind of bitch when the lights and cameras are off)Therefore it is very easy to ridicule especially Sarkozy. And besidesbringing us actors who look like and act like factual persons we neverknow whether the dialogs is truthful or whether all actions really tookplace. That makes this film an easy way out for all parties: makers andviewers. But it also provides us with a film that is no drama. It isall puppet play. Having said that, the acting is good and the film isfunny at times. With some nice camera-work, especially during the bigelection events.

  5. tomi_iomi from France
    29 Mar 2012, 6:25 pm

    I expected this movie to be fun, mostly because of the subject and iadmit this kept me watching until the end. I didn't expect a comedy butI did expect a few laughs since Sarkozy does have a way of making yousmile just by his appearance. Alas there is not one smile worthy scenein this movie.

    Other similar movies describing known outcome political events know howto provide just the touch of reality but then provide a good actedstory that can be clearly fictional but interesting. This film goes theother way. It's all about looks, it looks real, political figures lookand sound familiar but it seems like the whole plot has been writtenfrom press cutouts from LeFigaro et Libération.

    They do take a stab at romance and how political ambitions strainrelationships but it is never developed or investigated, it stays inthe same paper headline reality of the movie.

    Frankly this movie greatest flaw is that it lacks intensity. Itspeculates on what motivated and the decisions that maybe helpedSarkozy win the 2007 elections but it does it in such a boring way thatat the end you don't know who to pity more, yourself for the wastedtime/money or the ones involved in making such a lame movie.

    Sadly I would not recommend this movie to anyone for anything. TheFrench glancing through newspapers headlines will already know morethan what this movie has to offer. Anyone else who isn't french willprobably expect a story but since it isn't there to begin with I'd savemy money, maybe rent House of Cards and for the political insight thatthis movie offers on french politics just browse the Wikipedia pages onChirac, Sarkozy and Villepin.

  6. sandover from Greece
    29 Mar 2012, 6:25 pm

    The premise – not of the film itself, but let's say what surrounds it,its instance as it came to be – is interesting, namely, the depictionof a nation's President in his/her rise to power and while he/she stillis in power; what titillates in such a premise is I think the promisethat we truly live in democratic times and that means times that canpull off the apparition of such a film sincerely, exposing themachinations and the weaknesses of a leader, as some kind ofdemonstration in the making that turns spectacle into some kind ofself-witnessing democracy in the making.

    May I never write that sentence again.

    What is so wrong with it? It suffers from plausibility of thepolitically correct kind, of a stupid, biased kind. Just take somesteps back and reconsider the film you saw: would you really thinkhaving seen it that the film is a demonstration, or a proof that welive in democratic times?

    Let's begin from the soundtrack that snaps right away: the referencesto Rota ground the film in Fellini territory, and so by culturalallusion we wonder if this wouldn't be more properly employed inBerlusconi's case – or is it that Berlusconi is in a way the future of- European at least – leadership, and so Sarkozy's vulgarity is aperipheral phenomenon to the standard shamelessness of Berlusconi asstand-in for the Rota/Fellini circus?

    But even this doubly misfires, I am afraid; I think to have a filmcritical of a head of state while still in power – truly, politicallycritical – could be the name of utopia itself, and doubly so: thatmeans on the one hand practically it would never purely be so for atleast at some point it would have to invent and so enter theideological imagination of the script-writer (when Mrs.Almost-Ex-Sarkozy gratuitously cried towards the end I wished I hadnever entered the mind of this particular script-writer), or, in orderto remember early 20th century propaganda frames, such a film would bea redundancy.

    Yet we live in biased more than propaganda times: do we need radio andpress and media exposition – if we have followed the political climateand state in France during the time – turned into a semi-fictionalizedaccount? Does this not mistake, and it is a major mistake, informationfor political stance, which is another name for politicizing melodrama?But maybe we are still in a frame of mind not far from the one JeanBaudrillard exposed back in the 90's when Cicciolina (remember?) waselected in the Italian Parliament: it was literally for laughs, as aface-off of politics into female impersonation.

    For what we have in the film are impersonators, and not actors. Perhapsthere is a charm to it, watch your favorite buffoons played by someimpersonators with the occasional poignant truism in their mouths hereand there. But I do not want my genuine buffoon Sarkozy played – sorry,impersonated by another buffoon and spoil my male-bonding fun: and thisis the crux of the matter for me: instead of just plainly turning amisconception into maybe a bad film, more importantly it turns amisconception into bad democracy anchored into macho innuendo.

    I admit it was a bit harder for me to digest, since the spice added tomy watching experience was the remembrance of watching Podalydes asJean-Paul Sartre some years back in a french miniseries: he was trulybad, of the same brand of badness as here, that is over-reacting thebody language and confounding the demarcation between it and bodilytics, as if attacking the whole thing totally from outside, andoffering us the ludicrous ruin of a theatrical alphabet; think of Louisde Funes instead as what a truly ingenious confusion of the abovecategories would mean each time he exploded bodily coordinates, unlessone conceives Podalydes' over-reacting as the allegory of the unhappyLeft: the invasion of the body snatchers into the liberal body thatmistakes bodily tics for politics!

    Do not think of these asides irrelevant to the film – that is itsideology: they make all the more palpable the lack of political andaesthetic, cinematic decisions: to put it bluntly, if this film hassome kind of political novelty – and is not as I believe somethingre-appropriated if not shamelessly pushed around by the liberalconsensus – then it has to be supplemented by a film surrounding therise to life of the Bruni-Sarkozy child, since it is the first time aPresident becomes father while in office! That would give us theglimpse to the hotness of the first lady we have so shamelessly andprogrammatically been declined: imagine Podalydes in seizure as hetakes a baby from Laetitia Casta's bosom.

    May we never have to see such a film.

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