George Clooney and the team behind “Ides of March” aren’t the only ones with politics on their mind. French director Xavier Durringer is making a movie about a real president… while he's still in office.
Durringer’s “The Conquest” chronicles the startling rise to power of the so-called “volatile, right-leaning” Nicolas Sarkozy, who’s former wife Cecilia left him for Richard Attias, an event planner working on the campaign, just weeks before he was elected into the top spot.
“A lot of people in politics, both on the left and the right, went to see the film and the response from the political journalists is that 97 percent of the film is truthful,” Durringer told FOX411’s Pop Tarts column. “The interesting thing here is that Cecilia Sarkozy works to help him get to the top and yet the moment he actually reaches the top, she leaves him. He has worked so hard to gain power and conquer, but for that First Lady – she removed herself from the position for love, not for any political reason.”
Sarkozy soon found a new spouse in former supermodel Carla Bruni, and according to “The Conquest” director, she requested to see the film earlier this year.
“His wife wanted to see the film, but Sarkozy himself said he would rather undergo psychoanalysis than see himself in the film,” he explained.
The turbulent biopic, which opens in the U.S. this week, also suggests that Sarkozy studied the American approach to politics and used it as a means to win over the people of France.
“He really shifted things, his model is a storytelling mode where he would be filmed doing everything – jogging, biking, when he was on vacation. And allowing the press to film him in his office with his children reminded us of the JFK days and (the photos in his office) were almost the same as the one’s he had of Jackie and the children,” Durringer continued. “... In essence you now have politicians who are actors, and not just actors but big stars. You have political leaders appearing on magazine covers even more frequently than Johnny Depp does.”
The French President has come under fire in recent weeks for not being present at the birth of his first daughter, which also marked the first girl in modern history to be born to a French presidential couple in office. But divorces, supermodels and babies aside, what will American audiences likely find most intriguing about the reigning President of France?
“He isn’t from the traditional political mode. He is somebody who really has emotions close to the surface ,and you can tell by the way he moves his body, he has a kind of child-like quality,” Durringer added. “He twitches and moves before he is going to make his speech, and the fact that he is extremely short undoubtedly caused him to have certain self-conscious issues.”
A spokesperson for Sarkozy did not respond to a request for comment.