There’s still time to nominate local icons for Best of D.C.
Heads of state get the biopics they deserve. Well, at least aesthetically: There’s a reason why Paolo Sorrentino’s Il Divo, about the audaciously corrupt Italian prime minister Giulio Andreotti, and Oliver Stone’s W. are both amphetamine-paced and generally batshit. In contrast, two recent films about stiff-lipped British monarchs—The Queen and The King’s Speech—are linear and plainly shot. The Conquest, Xavier Durringer’s contemptuous and unsatisfying movie about Nicolas Sarkozy’s rise to the French presidency, charts, well, something of a middle course. When it begins, Sarkozy (Denis Podalydès) is brooding in the dark like he’s Michael Corleone. From there, the closest The Conquest has to a stylistic stamp are its frequent visual gags about its protagonist’s height, and the circus vamps and stampeding television reporters that lend proceedings a Felliniesque verve. But this gets old quickly, as does the back-and-forth of Sarko’s political maneuverings and his campaign-room tantrums (“I’m a Ferrari. You open the hood with white gloves,” he says). Yawn. Expect the inevitable biopics about George Papandreou and Silvio Berlusconi to be much trippier. The film shows all week at West End Cinema, 2301 M St. NW. $11. westendcinema.com. (202) 419-3456.