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Diplomacy (French: Diplomatie) is a 2014 Franco-German historical drama film directed by Volker Schlöndorff and adapted from the play Diplomatie by Cyril Gely. The film premiered at the 64th Berlin International Film Festival on 12 February 2014. It was also screened at the Telluride Film Festival in August 2014. It won the César Award for Best Adaptation at the 40th César Awards.
As the Allied Forces move toward Paris, Adolf Hitler commands General Dietrich von Choltitz to destroy the city. Choltitz sends a team to demolish the city's famous landmarks and to overflow the Seine, led by Lieutenant Hegger and advised by a captured Parisian engineer named M. Lanvin. The landmarks being targeted include the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, the Place de la Concorde and Notre Dame de Paris.
A Swedish diplomat named Raoul Nordling sneaks into the general's office in the Hotel Meurice by means of a secret passageway. He points out the loss of innocent lives if the demolition goes through, and asks the general not to do it. The general is not swayed.
Parisians start to revolt against the German patrols. Fighting fills the streets. Choltitz reveals that the Nazi government has a standing order to punish the officers' families. Nordling tries to downplay its significance, but Choltitz points out that it was erected right as he was promoted, meaning that Hitler has his eyes on Choltitz.
Nordling offers the chance for the French Resistance to try to evacuate Choltitz's family. He confesses that he would not be able to choose between saving his family and saving Paris, were he in Choltitz's position. However, if he chooses Paris, the world will remember him as a hero. Choltitz relents and cancels the demolition. Lt Hegger tries to trigger it anyway, but is shot by Lanvin.
After the fall of Nazi Germany, Choltitz spends two years in prison for his earlier actions during the Siege of Sevastopol. Nordling is awarded a medal for his persuasion of Choltitz in Paris, but he passes it over to Choltitz, recognizing him as the real hero.André Dussollier as Raoul NordlingNiels Arestrup as General von CholtitzBurghart Klaußner as Hauptmann Werner EbernachRobert Stadlober as Leutnant BressensdorfCharlie Nelson as the conciergeJean-Marc Roulot as Jacques LanvinStefan Wilkening as Unteroffizier MayerThomas Arnold as Leutnant Hegger
The movie was well received by the critics. Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reports that 93% of 45 critics gave the film a positive review, for an average rating of 7.4/10. The site's consensus states that "For filmgoers who value character development and smart dialogue over plot, Diplomacy yields rich, powerfully acted rewards."
Brenda Benthien of kinocritics.com judged the "theatrical tour-de-force" was "a Valentine to Schlöndorff’s beloved Paris".
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