Its Paris in 1944 and the alliance troops are approaching to liberate it. Hitler has ordered to blow up every monument, every bridge, every museum to smithereens. On the final night of the plan execution Swedish consul general Raoul Nording enters the office of German military governor in order to stop the catastrophe. He has one night to change governor’s mind. We all know he succeeded. But how? And at what cost?
DIPLOMACY is an adaptation to screen of a successful play of the same name. Using the same cast as from the original stage production the movie has a very theatrical feel about it. The camera rarely leaves the room, but we do get a sense that beyond these walls lays the beautiful city. It is a little scary to think how easily things could have gone wrong.
Andre Dussollier as Swedish diplomat and Neils Arestrup as German governor are slipping into their roles as if into a comfortable, well worn shoes, which is not surprising considering they have done the stage show together. The chemistry between the characters is evident, what we witness are two men who did not loose respect for each other among the horrors of war, but each of them is still ready to do what it takes to achieve their goal.
The film would have benefited of some aerial shots of Paris, even some CGI would do. It would be nice to be reminded what is really at stake here, to see Paris of that time, damaged but unbroken. The little we see of the battle outside the walls feels stagy, but it does complement theatrical feel of the film and is not necessarily a negative thing.
With its top notch performances and swiftly little dialogue DIPLOMACY is a great introduction to a good play and will appeal to anyone who likes dramatic and focused filmmaking.