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The Billionaire, the Butler & the Boyfriend 2023 / A captivating documentary about how the world’s richest women were embroiled in a nationwide political scandal

7.0

The animation can sometimes be distracting, but for the most part, The Billionaire is a well-edited docuseries about a deeply intriguing affair. The use of real-life tape recordings (secretly made by the Bettencourts’ butler) lends it an authentic air, while the re-enactments remain tastefully shot throughout. They’re accurate but anonymous, and never cheesy in the way others like it normally are. The framing is somewhat sensationalized, but that’s to be expected in covering scandals of this scale. What is surprising is how the filmmakers manage to bring everything back to Liliane and her daughter Françoise Bettencourt Meyers. By centering on their fractured, complicated relationship, this documentary about France’s corrupt elite somehow feels relatable and universal in its own way. 

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