16 items from 2014
Acclaimed French filmmaker Bertrand Tavernier has taken audiences everywhere, from the world of American jazz ("Round Midnight") to the drama of the 16th century ("The Princess Of Montpensier"), and his latest finds a new world, behind the closed doors of the political sphere, and in the comedic "The French Minister," no one is spared. Starring Thierry Lhermitte, Raphaël Personnaz, Niels Arestrup, Bruno Raffaelli, Julie Gayet and Anaïs Demoustier, the film tells the story of the fictional Minister of Foreign Affairs Alexandre Taillard de Vorms, who juggles American neo-cons, corrupt Russians and the opportunistic Chinese all while his useless speech writer tries to keep up with the whirling dervish of personalities around him. In this exclusive clip, we see how things can turn on a dime in the political world. "The French Minister" opens today in limited release and is available on VOD. Watch below. »
- Kevin Jagernauth
Bertrand Tavernier's The French Minister (Quai D’Orsay) starring Thierry Lhermitte, Raphaël Personnaz, Niels Arestrup and Anaïs Demoustier, with Jane Birkin impersonating a version of Toni Morrison and Julie Gayet as a potent advisor, is the closing night film of New York's Rendez-Vous with French Cinema.
We discussed the importance of rhythm for his film, how Billy Wilder and Jacques Becker set a mood, the working relationship with writers Christophe Blain and Cultural Counselor to the French Embassy Antonin Baudry, Arestrup's dedication, and the decision to not watch films when making one. Tavernier also gave me insight into how he created the unequaled complexity of character with Philippe Noiret and Isabelle Huppert in Coup De Torchon.
"A fool »
- Anne-Katrin Titze
The opening night of Rendez-Vous with French Cinema in New York at the Paris Theatre will bring us Catherine Deneuve's exceptional performance in Emmanuelle Bercot's On My Way. Bertrand Tavernier's wildly diplomatic The French Minister (Quai D’Orsay), based on Antonin Baudry’s graphic novels, starring Raphaël Personnaz, Thierry Lhermitte with Julie Gayet, Jane Birkin and Niels Arestrup closes the festival. Mathieu Amalric and Emmanuelle Devos in If You Don't, I Will (Arrête Ou Je Continue) directed by Sophie Fillières, Charlotte Gainsbourg and Yvan Attal in Michel Spinosa's His Wife (Son Épouse), Katell Quillévéré's Suzanne with Sara Forestier, François Damiens, Adèle Haenel and Paul Hamy are some of the other highlights of UniFrance and the Film Society of »
- Anne-Katrin Titze
Guillaume Gallienne’s semi autobiographical comedy Me, Myself and Mum (Les Garcons et Guillaume, à table) won in five categories in the French Césars on Friday evening, including best film.
Actor-director Gallienne’s directorial debut, revolving around his relationship with his mother and her assumption he was gay as a child, also won best first film, best adaptation and best editing. Gallienne also won best actor.
Gallienne, is currently hitting international screens in Jalil Lespert’s Yves Saint Laurent in the role of the fashion designer’s partner Pierre Bergé. He will be in London next week alongside Pierre Niney, who plays Yves Saint Laurent, and Lespert for a special screening at the Institut Francais.
Roman Polanski won best director for his psychosexual comedy Venus in Fur.
In other awards »
Friday was the day of the César Awards, so it made sense that it should begin with a screening of Quai D'Orsay at the Glasgow Film Festival. The biting French political satire would go on to help Niels Arestrup win a Best Supporting Actor gong, and President Hollande was probably counting his blessings when its star Julie Gayet, with whom he had an affair (and, more scandalously, got caught) missed out on Best Supporting Actress. A sort of Gallic In The Loop, this film could well help to revive the French film industry, which has struggled over the past year, due to it added real life political cachet.
Also screening on Friday were Tangerines, a portrait of an Abkhazian village caught in the throes of war, and »
- Jennie Kermode
Since its blazing triumph at Cannes, things haven't gone all that well for "Blue is the Warmest Color" on the awards beat. Oscar eligibility controversy aside, it was cockblocked by "The Great Beauty" at the Golden Globes, BAFTAs and European Film Awards, and now it's also lost on its own home turf, as actor-director Guillaume Gallienne's autobiographical comedy "Me, Myself and Her" took top honors at the César Awards. A domestic hit that had led the nominations, Gallienne's film also took wins for Best Actor, Adapted Screenplay, Editing and Debut Feature. Roman Polanski was a surprise winner of the Best Director award for his kinky stage-based comedy "Venus in Fur." (The César voters' affection for Polanski cannot be underestimated: this was his fourth win in four years, following recent triumphs for "The Ghost Writer" and "Carnage," and his eighth overall.) It was a good night for comedy all round: beating Lea Seydoux, »
- Guy Lodge
We’re only two days out from the Oscars now, but today and tomorrow we have some other awards to report on, starting off right now with the just announced César Awards, which are the French equivalent of the Academy Awards. There’s no real Academy crossover to speak of, but it’s an interesting ceremony to take note of anyway. Any award show is worthwhile in my book, and I hope you agree as well. The Best Picture prize went to Les Garçons Et Guillaume, A Table!, which also saw Guillaume Gallienne win Best Actor and Best Adapted Screenplay, while favorite son over there Roman Polanski took Best Director for Venus in Fur. Among more notable winners, The Broken Circle Breakdown won Best Foreign Film while Adèle Exarchopoulos took the Best Female Newcomer prize for her amazing work in Blue is the Warmest Color. Voters spread things around otherwise, »
- Joey Magidson
Paris– The 39th Cesar film awards spread the wealth wide at the ceremony emceed with panache by Belgian actress Cecile de France at the Chatelet Theater in Paris on Friday.
Discovered at Cannes’ Directors’ Fortnight, Gaumont’s “Me, Myself and Mum,” the directorial debut of Comedie Francaise-trained actor Guillaume Gallienne, led the race, winning five awards: best film, actor, first film, adapted screenplay and editing.
Gallienne’s pic – produced by Jean-Baptiste Dupont and Cyril Colbeau-Justin at Lgm and Edouard Weil at Rectangle – has already won two prizes at Cannes’ Directors’ Fortnight and broke out to a more than 2 million ticket sales at the French box office, making it one of France’s only considerable hits of last year.
The bigscreen makeover of Gallienne’s eponymous stage show, “Mum” portrays the director’s childhood overshadowed by a cherished mother who assumes that he’s gay. Gallienne plays himself as a child »
- Elsa Keslassy
The time is August 1944, and as the Allies march toward Paris, the city’s artistic and architectural riches lie in danger of Nazi dynamiting. No, it isn’t “Return of the Monuments Men,” but rather Volker Schlondorff’s “Diplomacy,” another movie set at the same historical moment that may be far smaller in scale than George Clooney’s limp epic, but proves to be vastly more passionate, engaging and emotional in its depiction of the relationship between Dietrich von Cholitz, the German military governor of occupied Paris, and Swedish consul-general Raoul Nordling. A fine return to form for the veteran German helmer (“The Tin Drum”), adapted from French playwright Cyril Gely’s 2011 stage success, this classy drama of political manners should stir plenty of patriotic fervor in Gaul (where it opens March 5) and score brisk sales to offshore arthouse shingles.
In reality, there never was an all-night powwow between Nordling »
- Scott Foundas
Director: Volker Schlondorff
Producers: Film Oblige’s Marc de Bayser and Frank de Bayser
U.S. Distributor: Rights Available
The German auteur has another film ready to premiere this year, which we hope gets more attention than Schlondorff’s 2011 film, Calm At Sea, which had a rather subdued festival run and no Us distribution. Two wizened stars of French cinema headline his latest, a period piece reimagining the near bombing of Paris by Hitler. War torn Germany and World War II era Europe are some of Schlondorff’s favorite subjects, but we’re hoping this sees some traction in the coming year.
Gist: During the night of August 24th to 25th, 1944, the future of Paris is in the hands of General von Choltitz, the governor of Grand Paris, who is preparing, on Hitler’s orders, to blow up the capital. »
- Nicholas Bell
Exclusive: Gaumont closes key deals on Schlondorff drama [pictured] and Danish romance.
Gaumont continues to close key deals on Volker Schlondorff’s WWII drama Diplomacy, which screens in Berlin as a Special Gala, and has inked deals with Us and UK on Danish romance Animals.
Deals have closed on Diplomacy for Australia (Madman), Italy (Academy Two), Japan (Nikkatsu), Israel (Lev Films), Hungary (Mozinet), Czech Republic (Filmeurope), Finland (Cinema Mondo).
In a busy day for Gaumont, the firm also inked a string of key deals on Danish coming-of-age romance Animals with Radius-twc for Us, Madman for Australia, Altitude Film for U.K., Prokino for Germany and Odeon for Greece. »
- email@example.com (Andreas Wiseman)
Paris –Abdellatif Kechiche’s “Blue Is the Warmest Color” won the Cannes Palme d’Or. But the Wild Bunch-sold title has some serious competition at France’s Cesar Awards – the country’s equivalents of the Oscars.
Announced Friday by France’s Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences at the Fouquet restaurant on the Champs Elysees Friday, “Blue” scored in eight categories, two behind Gaumont’s “Me, Myself and Mum,” the directorial debut of Comedie Française-trained actor Guillaume Gallienne, which, having won two prizes at Cannes’ Directors’ Fortnight, broke out to a more than two million tix sales at the French box office, making it one of France’s only considerable hits of last year.
“Blue” and “Me, Myself and Mum” are two gems discovered at Cannes: »
- John Hopewell and Elsa Keslassy
Paris– French major Gaumont has closed key sales deals on “Diplomacy,” Volker Schlondorff’s WWII drama that’s set to open in the Berlinale’s Special Gala section.
In the run up to Berlin, “Diplomacy,” which centers on the real-life story of a German officer who saved Paris from destruction, has sold to Brazil (Providence), Spain (A Contracorriente), Greece (Odeon), Benelux (Lumiere), Portugal (Lusomundo), Former Yugoslavia (Cinemania) and Middle East (Four Star). It was previously snatched up by Koch Media for Germany and German-speaking territories, Jmh for Switzerland and Metropole for Canada.
Yohann Comte, Gaumont’s deputy head of sales, said the company was also in negotiations to close Italy.
Taking place on the day Paris was liberated by the Allies, “Diplomacy” chronicles the tense confrontation between the Swedish ambassador (Andre Dussollier, “Same Old Song”) and the German military governor of Paris, Dietrich von Choltitz (Niels Arestrup, “A Prophet”). The »
- Elsa Keslassy
World premieres include A Long Way down, starring Breaking Bad’s Aaron Paul and Pierce Brosnan, and The Two Faces of January, the directorial debut of Drive screenwriter Hossein Amini starring Viggo Mortensen, Kirsten Dunst and Oscar Isaac.
The Berlin International Film Festival (Feb 6-16) has unveiled the 18-strong line-up for its Berlinale Special strand, including nine world premieres.
Stand-outs in the list include the world premiere of A Long Way Down, an adaptation of Nick Hornby’s bestseller about four people who meet on New Year’s Eve and form a surrogate family to help one another weather the difficulties of their lives. It stars Breaking Bad’s Aaron Paul, Pierce Brosnan, Toni Collette and Imogen Poots.
Also receiving its world premiere will be con artist thriller The Two Faces of January, the directorial debut of Drive screenwriter Hossein Amini, which stars Viggo Mortensen, Kirsten Dunst and Inside Llewyn Davis’ Oscar Isaac.
Mexican actor Diego Luna »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Michael Rosser)
London — The Berlin Film Festival has unveiled its Berlinale Special program, which contains 18 pics, including nine world premieres.
“A Long Way Down,” which toplines Pierce Brosnan and Toni Collette, starts with a chance encounter between several people who plan to commit suicide on New Year’s Eve. It is adapted from the novel by Nick Hornby, and produced by Finola Dwyer and Amanda Posey, who also produced “An Education.”
Also world premiering is World War II drama “Diplomacy” from director Volker Schlondorff, who won an Oscar with “The Tin Drum.” It centers on the efforts of Swedish diplomat Raoul Nordling, played by Andre Dussollier, to persuade German general Dietrich von Choltitz, played by Niels Arestrup, to ignore Adolf Hitler’s orders to destroy »
- Leo Barraclough
Film critics, we’re often told, don’t vote for the Oscars — but if they did, here’s what at least three of their nomination ballots might look like. We listed our top five choices for best director, actor/actress, supporting actor/actress, original/adapted screenplay and cinematography. For best picture, we allowed ourselves 10 choices, based on the unlikely but theoretically possible outcome of 10 nominees in that category.
“12 Years a Slave”
Joachim Lafosse, “Our Children”
Steve McQueen, “12 Years a Slave”
Chiwetel Ejiofor, “12 Years a Slave”
Tahar Rahim, “The Past”
- Variety Staff
16 items from 2014
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