Home » Lost Illusions: plot, cast, trailer of the film on Rai 3 with Depardieu

Lost Illusions: plot, cast, trailer of the film on Rai 3 with Depardieu

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Lost Illusions: plot, cast, trailer of the film on Rai 3 with Depardieu

It is the story of Lucien, a young poet seeking fortune in 19th century France

Lost Illusions (Illusions perdues) is a fascinating journey into the heart of 19th century France, brought to the big screen thanks to the direction of Xavier Giannoli in 2021 and arrives on TV this evening, on Rai 3, from 9.20pm, after Un posto al Sole. It is the film adaptation of the novel of the same name by Honoré de Balzac, presented at the 78th Venice International Film Festival. The plot revolves around the figure of Lucien, a young poet who embraces the dream of making his own fortune in the Paris of the time. However, the reality that awaits him in the French capital is very different from his hopes and expectations.

Lost Illusions: plot

Lucien Chardon, an aspiring poet in Restoration France, moves to Paris driven by his literary ambitions. Fascinated by Louise, an older woman with whom he has a clandestine relationship, Lucien seeks his fortune in the Parisian publishing world. However, entry into the capital is not easy: the couple is forced to separate to avoid a scandal. Penniless and disoriented, Lucien crosses paths with Lousteau, another writer seeking success who makes his living as a journalist for Le Corsaire, a progressive newspaper. Lousteau immediately recognizes Lucien’s talent and introduces him to the world of unscrupulous journalism, made up of studied controversies and bought literary reviews. In this new reality, Lucien sees an opportunity to take revenge on the nobility that rejected him and the world that failed him.

Lost Illusions: cast

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Benjamin Voisin brings the protagonist Lucien de Rubempré to the screen, while Cécile de France plays Louise de Bargeton, the woman who inspires and guides him on his path. Vincent Lacoste gives life to Étienne Lousteau, the other fundamental writer in Lucien’s education. Xavier Dolan plays Raoul Nathan, a crucial character in the Parisian literary scene, while Jeanne Balibar embodies the Marquise d’Espard, an influential figure in the society of the time. Finally, Gérard Depardieu plays Dauriat, a publisher who plays dirty in the world of journalism.


With a production budget of 19 million euros, the film was shot between July and October 2019 in the Île-de-France and the Oise, with some scenes set at the charming Château de Compiègne. Following in Balzac’s footsteps, Giannoli transforms his adaptation into a Bildungsroman, with socio-cultural elements that combine comedy of intrigue, national tragedy and theatre. The world premiere of the film took place on September 5, 2021 in competition at the 78th Venice International Film Festival. Subsequently, it was distributed in Italian cinemas starting from 30 December 2021. Among the awards obtained, the film was nominated for the Golden Lion for best film at the Venice International Film Festival in 2021. At the 2022 César Awards, won in the Best Film category, with Vincent Lacoste awarded Best Supporting Actor and Benjamin Voisin recognized as Best Promising Male. Additionally, the film adaptation received awards for Best Cinematography, Best Production Design and Best Costume Design, as well as several other nominations including Best Director and Best Supporting Actress.

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