Director / Screenplay: Florent-Emilio Siri
“Showman, businessman, womaniser, father, icon: who was the real Claude François?”
In short, Monsieur François was, in many ways, the French equivalent of Cliff Richard, but with the sex that the latter didn’t have.
Like Cliff, he established himself as a sweet rock’n’pop heartthrob in the 60s and carried on to become kitschier and crazier with every sequin and flared trouser. Unlike Cliff, he died an untimely death (I won’t say how), and while not aging quite as badly as him, he certainly packed the drama in tighter, as Siri’s stylish biopic covers his melodramatic highs and lows, portraying a crazy and intriguing pioneer of pop-marketing with a fan’s camp affection and use of back catalogue to impressive narrative effect. It has a multitude of inventive tracking shots, if maybe one too many, and Renier does a job on Francois’ nigh-on inimitable dance moves which add up to an interesting, but not riveting, character-study.
Oh yeah, and he wrote what would become Sinatra’s “My Way”.