C18th makeups: Ridicule


When a poor French nobleman visits the court at Versailles seeking royal backing for a much-needed drainage project he finds himself in a strange and hostile environment which Roger Ebert described perfectly as where ‘all compliments are two-faced, when every truth is tinged with irony, when insults are the currency of humor’ and where survival is a delicate – and sometimes deadly – game requiring both a razor wit and an acid tongue.

He soon falls in love with Mathilde but, although she loves him in return, she is determined to marry a distasteful old rich man so that he can finance her research into diving bells. Meanwhile, the baron finds that he must court the powerful Madame de Blayac (Fanny Ardant) who can help him progress his suit at court.

The makeup

Michèle Constantinides, Judith Gayo & Jean-Christophe Roger were the makeup artists.