Let Joy Reign Supreme

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Que la fête commence
Directed by Bertrand Tavernier
Produced by Michelle de Broca
Yves Robert
Written by Jean Aurenche
Bertrand Tavernier
Starring Philippe Noiret
Jean-Pierre Marielle
Music by Philippe II, Duke of Orléans
Cinematography Pierre-William Glenn
Edited by Armand Psenny
Distributed by CIC/Fildebroc Productions/Franco London Films/Productions de la Gueville/UPF[disambiguation needed]
Release dates 23 March 1975
Running time 114 min
Country France
Language French

Que la fête commence... (English title Let Joy Reign Supreme) is a 1975 French film directed by Bertrand Tavernier and starring Philippe Noiret. It is a historical drama set during the 18th century French Régence centring on the Breton Pontcallec Conspiracy.

It won the French Syndicate of Cinema Critics Prix Méliès, and the César Award for Best Director, Best Supporting Actor, Best Writing and Best Production Design, and was nominated for Best Film, Best Supporting Actress and Best Music.


In France in 1719, Philippe II, Duke of Orléans is the regent for the young Louis XV. He is sophisticated, gentle, a liberal and a libertine. He endeavours to keep his subjects cultured and happy to stop the peasants from rising up, but he knows he has no real royal authority. To assist him, d'Orléans enlists the aid of an atheistic and venal priest named Guillaume Dubois, who is as much of a libertine as Philippe, and unfortunately does not care for anyone except himself. At the beginning of the movie, a very gruesome scene shows the autopsy of Marie Louise Élisabeth d'Orléans, Duchess of Berry, elder daughter of the Regent. The voluptuous young princess expires on 21 July 1719, her health fatally ruined by her debauched life and a series of clandestine pregnancies. Notoriously promiscuous, Joufflotte ("chubby") as she was nicknamed because of her generous proportions, was rumored of committing incest with her father. The autopsy reveals that the Rubenesque princess was again pregnant. Philippe is very much affected by her death. Meanwhile, a rebellion led by a Breton squire named Pontcallec occurs. Philippe's natural idealism is further shaken when he is forced to execute Pontcallec's band of revolutionaries. Dubois, however, tries to take advantage of the revolt and subsequent famine to become archbishop. It becomes apparent that true joy will only be found when the peasants successfully overthrow the aristocrats who have held them down for so long.

The movie provides a description of 18th century court life, and features the music of the real Philippe d'Orléans.


Awards and nominations[edit]

  • César Awards (France)
    • Won: Best Actor – Supporting Role (Jean Rochefort)
    • Won: Best Director (Bertrand Tavernier)
    • Won: Best Production Design (Pierre Guffroy)
    • Won: Best Writing (Jean Aurenche and Bertrand Tavernier)
    • Nominated: Best Actress – Supporting Role (Christine Pascal)
    • Nominated: Best Film
    • Nominated: Best Music (Philippe d'Orléans and Antoine Duhamel)

External links[edit]