6 items from 2017
Ask any 10 people what their favorite movie is, and at least five will probably say “Amélie.” Jean Pierre Jeunet’s whimsical 2001 romantic comedy about a lonely Parisian waitress who plays guardian angel in the lives of strangers quickly became—and remains to this day—a cult favorite for misfits everywhere. Jeunet originally wrote the role for English actor Emily Watson but rewrote it for a French actress due to scheduling conflicts and Watson’s difficulty speaking the language. Audrey Tautou was already an up-and-comer in her native France, but her role as the titular heroine was her springboard to international stardom. Even without subtitles, it's easy to see Tautou's exceptional ability to communicate with her eyes and through body language. Also notable is her use of an actual phone as a prop. Before she went on to charm audiences, Tautou had clearly won over her auditioners, whose laughs can be heard off-screen. »
The film, which is now in production, has sold to Germany, Austria (Wild Bunch), Switzerland (Pathe), Spain (Filmax), Greece (Seven Group), Portugal (Lusomundo), Russia (Top Film), Israel (New Guys), Middle East (Empire), Latin America (California Filmes), Hungary (Vertigo).
The film, based on Jules Romains’ 1923 satirical play “Knock ou le Triomphe de la médecine,” follows a charming man who travels to a small mountain village in the 1950s, determined to make his fortune as a doctor. He starts diagnosing everyone he sees with an illness, real or imaginary. Because of his charisma, Knock becomes popular and successful in the village, subsequently provoking jealousy from some folks, including a someone reminding him of his shady past.
- Elsa Keslassy
James Cameron's Aliens was that rare sequel which managed to be every bit as good (if not better, depending on who you talk to) as its predecessor, but he isn't overly enthusiastic about the sequels which followed. After Aliens, we were treated to David Fincher's Alien 3, Jean-Pierre Jeunet's Alien: Resurrection, Paul W. S. Anderson's Alien Vs. Predator, Colin... Read More »
- Kevin Fraser
Leave it to the French to blow up a genre and redefine it whether it’s Luc Besson with the female action sphere with La Femme Nikita or Jean-Pierre Jeunet with the romantic comedy and Amelie. Meet filmmaker Julia Ducournau whose Raw gobbles up the horror genre and digests into something mindblowing. “I don’t consider my movie a horror movie,” asserts Ducournau about her genre-bending, “I wanted to make people uneasy, that’s for sure.” Talk about a high concept: A young… »
There are no puppies, kittens or baby bunnies in “This Beautiful Fantastic.” That said, however, any restraint before the altar of adorableness is abandoned in writer-director Simon Aboud’s sophomore feature. Its heroine is so Amelie-like that she’s clad and coiffed like that pixie queen’s separated-at-birth English Rose twin. This winsome comedy may lack Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s high cinematic style, but it does hit the same general mark — which is to say, a sweet spot for some viewers that might induce sugar shock in others. Those seeking twee will get their fill when Samuel Goldwyn distributes the film Stateside, presumably later this year.
A foundling dumped as a babe in a banana crate — like Moses, but wackier! — on a Hyde Park orphanage stoop, Bella Brown (Jessica Brown Findlay of “Downton Abbey”) grows up “the oddest of the odd,” a misfit whose threadbare social skills and peculiar habits »
- Dennis Harvey
Exclusive: Wild Bunch is launching sales on Pan-Européenne-led production at Unifrance Rdv in Paris.
Set against the backdrop of a small French town, the film will star Benoît Poelvoorde as the endearingly comic figure of Raoul Taburin, a reputed bicycle shop owner desperate to hide the fact he cannot ride a bike himself.
Altitude has pre-bought UK rights with company chief Will Clarke taking an executive producer credit.
The deal builds on a growing relationship between Altitude and Nathalie Gastaldo-Godeau and Philippe Godeau’s Paris and London-based Pan-Européene which has developed since the couple moved to the UK in 2015.
Last year, the two companies entered a partnership for the UK release of Jérôme Salles’s Jacques Cousteau bio-pic The Odyssey, under which the film will hit UK screens this June.
Discussions on Raoul »
6 items from 2017
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