Lost Illusions (2021)

Original title: Illusions perdues

Lost Illusions is a movie adaptation of the classic novel by Honoré de Balzac. The movie follows the young poet Lucien de Rubempré, who naively leaves his hometown in pursuit of becoming an author. I haven’t read the novel, but I understand the movie does an excellent job of staying true to the source material. Unfortunately, the constant narration can be quite tedious. It’s as if the viewer isn’t trusted to understand what’s going on without being spoon-fed every detail.

The acting is solid all around, but the standout performance is by Benjamin Voisinas as Lucien. He perfectly captures the naïveté and arrogance of the character. The movie is also visually stunning, with opulent costumes and sets that transport the viewer to 19th century France. The dialogue is fast-paced and witty, but it can be difficult to follow at times. There are some very funny moments, but the movie is a tragedy more than a comedy. It’s a long movie, but it’s worth watching if you’re a fan of period dramas.

Even though the movie is set in the 1800s, it has a lot of relevance to today. The portrayal of journalism and the literary world is just as relevant now as it was then. Fake news was a problem back then and the movie is a reminder that some things never change.

Lost Illusions is a well-made movie and worth seeing if you’re a fan of the novel or period dramas in general. I’d give Lost Illusions a higher score if the narration weren’t so heavy-handed.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

(Opens in cinemas in Australia on June 23 – check your movie guide for your local show times.) 

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