Lost Illusions (2021 film)

Lost Illusions (French: Illusions perdues, working title: Comédie humaine) is a 2021 French drama film directed by Xavier Giannoli, from a screenplay by Giannoli and Jacques Fieschi, based upon Parts I and II of Illusions perdues (3 novels; 1837–43) by Honoré de Balzac. It stars Benjamin Voisin, Xavier Dolan, Vincent Lacoste, Cécile de France, Gérard Depardieu, and Jeanne Balibar.

Lost Illusions
Lost Illusions (2021) film poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byXavier Giannoli
Screenplay by
Based onIllusions perdues
by Honoré de Balzac
Produced by
  • Oliver Delbosc
  • Sidonie Dumas
CinematographyChristophe Beaucarne
Edited by
  • Riwanon Le Beller
  • Cyril Nakache
Distributed byGaumont
Release dates
  • 5 September 2021 (2021-09-05) (Venice)
  • 20 October 2021 (2021-10-20)
Running time
141 minutes[1]
Budget$17.5 million[2]
Box office$8.6 million[3]

It had its world premiere at the 78th Venice Film Festival on 5 September 2021.[4] It is released in France on 20 October 2021, by Gaumont.[5] The film received fifteen nominations at the 47th César Awards, winning in seven categories, including Best Film, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Supporting Actor for Lacoste, and Most Promising Actor for Voisin.[6]


Plot summaryEdit

In 1820s France, 20-year-old poet Lucien de Rubempré travels from his provincial home in Angoulême to Paris after a contentious affair with a local society lady. He is sensitive, idealistic, handsome and determined to force the literary world to take notice. Contrary to his expectations, however, he discovers that he must make ends meet by writing scurrilous theater reviews and ends up beholden to the world of low-brow journalism. At the behest of his crass boss, Étienne Lousteau, Lucien succumbs entirely to bribery and cronyism, achieving wealth and standing only at the cost of his artistic integrity and former friendships. In a last attempt to free himself from the all-consuming filth he is undone by his greatest weakness, his desire to transcend his low origins and illegitimate birth by buying a title of nobility. This too proves illusory and finally he is defeated and socially destroyed by the prevailing "fake news" cycle, returning home to defeat and obscurity.


In September 2019, it was announced Benjamin Voisin, Xavier Dolan, Vincent Lacoste, Cécile de France, Gérard Depardieu, Jeanne Balibar, André Marcon, Jean-François Stévenin and Louis-Do de Lencquesaing had joined the cast of the film, with Xavier Giannoli directing from a screenplay by himself and Jacques Fieschi, based upon the novel Illusions perdues by Honoré de Balzac.[7] Principal photography began in July 2019.[8]


On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, 92% of 51 reviews are positive; the "critic's consensus" states that the film "honors its classic source material with a beautifully acted drama that untangles knotty themes with infectious energy."[9]


  1. ^ "Lost Illusions". Venice Film Festival. 16 July 2021. Retrieved 26 July 2021.
  2. ^ Keslassy, Elsa (7 November 2019). "Gaumont Bows Sales on Xavier Giannoli's Adaptation of Balzac's Masterpiece 'Lost Illusions' (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved 23 May 2020.
  3. ^ "Lost Illusions". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved July 15, 2022.
  4. ^ Vivarelli, Nick (July 26, 2021). "Venice Film Festival Full Lineup Unveiled – Live Updates". Variety. Retrieved July 26, 2021.
  5. ^ Lemercier, Fabien (28 January 2021). "Filming to wrap imminently on Claire Denis' Fire". CineEuropa. Retrieved 28 January 2021.
  6. ^ Keslassy, Elsa (25 February 2022). "'Lost Illusions' and 'Annette' Lead France's Cesar Awards — Full Winners List". Variety. Retrieved 1 March 2022.
  7. ^ Lemercier, Fabian (3 September 2019). "Gaumont touting Xavier Giannoli's Lost Illusions". CineEuropa. Retrieved 23 May 2020.
  8. ^ Triches, Lisa (3 September 2019). "Avec "Comédie humaine", Xavier Giannoli tourne une adaptation des "Illusions perdues" de Balzac". Les Inrockuptibles. Retrieved 23 May 2020.
  9. ^ "LOST ILLUSIONS". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved June 17, 2022.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)

External linksEdit

Lost Illusions at IMDb