La Cage aux Folles (1978)

Few movies are as consistently entertaining and funny as this sophisticated, hysterically funny French farce. Leads Ugo Tognazzi and Michel Serrault are perfectly paired, each bringing stinging dignity paired with a comedic looseness, an approach that allows both to hysterically extract all the comedic potential from the terrifically funny screenplay. Serrault as Albin, in particular, manages to create an impressively mannered comedic character out of a rather thin characterization, and he’s a joy to watch every time he’s on screen. There are plot twists and surprises from beginning to end, and the movie has a distinctive visual identity thanks to its unique setting and set decor. Viewers who have seen its American remake “The Birdcage” may not appreciate this one as much, given that the American version is impressively faithful and thus robs the original of some its surprises, on which much of the humor is based.

Rating: ★★★★★ (out of 5)

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