With Catherine Frot starring in a biopic based on the life of Marguerite Dumont — a grandiloquently pretentious diva who has buffaloed friends into thinking the tonsil-jangling that comes out of her pipes is the stuff coloratura sopranos are made of — it’s impossible not to think of the fifth Marx Brother, Margaret Dumont. While the Marxes packed more laughs per minute than any comedy team on record, writer-director Xavier Giannoli is content to stretch a one-joke premise — the delusional diva can’t sing a note — to pad a feature. It works for about half the film, until Dumont decides it’s time to take her show on the road and the cheap shots Giannoli begins to lob at his character make Groucho's verbal salvos look gentlemanly. It doesn’t help that cinematographer Glynn Speeckaert’s singularly ashy palette has a tendency of sucking the life out of the painstaking costume and production design. With André Marcon as her agonizing husband and Christa Théret, lovely in the Eve Harrington role. (2016) — Scott Marks
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