Film Review: ‘Being President’

Originally posted on Variety:

Terrible English title aside, “Being President” is a terrific documentary that follows Gaul’s current head of state, Francois Hollande, during his first eight months in office. Helmed by Patrick Rotman, this is a unique, almost all-access portrait, shot with pared-down elegance, that suggests what the day-to-day of a contempo French president is like — more meetings and speech rewriting than you can shake a stick at — as well as how Hollande in particular makes it his own. A film of observation rather than of juicy revelations, “Being” might be a tough sell theatrically, though docu fests and smallscreen buyers will be impressed.

A politically inclined documentary filmmaker (TV’s “Chirac,” “Mitterrand, le roman du pouvoir”) and screenwriter (the Sarkozy pic “The Conquest”), Rotman seems ideally suited to document the inner workings of the presidential Elysee Palace and the man at its head. (The helmer simultaneously directed “A l’Elysee,” a nonfiction feature for…

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