“Overpaid and ungrateful”: Roselyne Bachelot attacks French cinema and the Césars in her book Le Bal des hypocrites

Roselyne Bachelot is attacking French cinema and (again) currying the Césars in a book which has just been published by Plon, 682 days – Le Bal des hypocrites. The former Minister of Culture kept a diary during her tenure.


After having spent almost 2 years at the Ministry of Culture, Roselyne Bachelot recounts her experience and does not hesitate to make very cash comments on the world of culture, in a book which has just been published: 682 days – The Ball of the Hypocrites. Some strong quotes have started circulating, and some of the entries are harshly attacking French cinema. She denounces professionals “fed up[s] d’argent public” and not grateful.

One could expect from the world of cinema, stuffed with public money, in the absence of recognition – let’s not ask for the impossible! –, at least a short and courteous greeting to the representative of the State during this demonstration [des César]. […] The famous “cultural exception” in fact allows a large number of French films to “not finding their audience”, as we say modestly, or, more explicitly, to be flabby“.

A contempt shown for “mainstream” and profitable films

She continues: “The system also allows actors who are at the head of the casting to receive staggering fees three or four times higher than those of actors in American independent cinema films. (…) Direct subsidies, advances on receipts, tax exemptions, intermittency have created an assisted economy which not only does not worry much about the tastes of the spectators but professes a contempt displayed for the films “general public” and profitable. Give a Caesar to Dany Boon and his more than 20 million entries for Welcome to the Ch’tis, pouaaaaah!

More broadly, and not just about cinema, she writes: “Throughout this crisis [du Covid]I remained stunned by the double language of this environment, able to show his gratitude in private, while deploying aggressiveness and victimization on television“. It targets in particular the singer and actor Benjamin Biolay, who hastened to respond to him in an Instagram story, representing an image of Tintin and Captain Haddock, with the following caption “In search of your dignity“..

In this book, Roselyne Bachelot also devotes several pages to the Cesar ceremony, including this passage: “Gentlemen and ladies in toilets costing several thousand euros (…) display their well-meaning and accusatory political commitments, sprinkle their speeches with laborious good words concocted by an exhausted gag man, conchie the minister curled up in his armchair like a boxer knocked at the corner of the ring then rush to Fouquet’s, whose working-class restaurant prices are known”.

For the record, Roselyne Bachelot had already said in the past all the bad things she had thought of the César 2021 ceremony: “Was this ceremony useful to French cinema? I don’t think it was useful to French cinema. What struck me was that the political rally side of this affair harmed the image of French cinema, while French cinema receives massive aid. (…)

The second thing that struck me was the break with the public. On social networks, on comments… While people love their cinema. I don’t want to make a value judgment. He secreted an extremely incredible antipathy. (…) Do you see the image it gave? It’s heartbreaking to see artists trampling on their work tool.”

682 Days – Le Bal Des Hypocrites, written by Roselyne Bachelot, has just been published by Plon.

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