COMPOSERS: Antoine Dudamel
WORKS: Ridicule
PERFORMER: La Grande Écurie et la Chambre du Roy/Jean-Claude Malgoire
CATALOGUE NO: 452 990-2


Patrice Leconte’s films always come out of some murky left-field – middle-aged voyeurism in Monsieur Hire, comic-strip misogyny in Tango. In Ridicule, verbal wit becomes a lethal weapon, and the moral decadence of 18th-century Versailles swims into queasy close-up.

Antoine Duhamel’s soundtrack starts off like some undiscovered orchestral suite by Bach, but it quickly turns spooky with some modern dissonances: under Jean-Claude Malgoire’s baton, the Grande Écurie et la Chambre du Roy gives this skewed-Baroque score a subtly ironic edge. But is it ironic enough? This film achieves its effects through sound and image playing off each other: the score is at its most gorgeous, for example, when the climactic duel takes place.


Without the sound of pistol shots, the CD is a lame duck. Moreover, the titles of tracks bear little relation to what we hear. ‘Humiliation’, ‘Fear of death’, and ‘A tedious supper’ could all be interchanged: listeners wouldn’t know.