Chinese Puzzle, the upcoming comedy-drama starring Audrey Tatutou, Romain Duris and Kelly Reilly, is coming over to the states, as Cohen Media Group has acquired all U.S. rights to the French film, Variety is reporting.
This is the third film in writer-director Cedric Klapisch’s “Spanish Apartment” series, following Spanish Apartment and Russian Dolls. The series began in 2002 with the hit film Apartment, which follows French international finance student, Xavier (Duris), who leaves his girlfriend (Tautou) to study Spanish in Barcelona.
The series of films was Duris’ breakout role, and was one of Tautou’s first roles following the success of Amélie. Chinese Puzzle will see Xavier move to New York when the mother of his children moves to the Big Apple with his kids. The film is shot in New York and will be largely in English.
Audrey Tautou, Mathieu Amalric and Carole Bouquet are among the talents set for an appearance at the annual ode to French cinema in Manhattan.
Start spreading the news, French films will invade Manhattan in on March 1st with Unifrance’s 17th annual Rendez-Vous with French Cinema in New York at Lincoln Center.
The country’s top directors and talents including Audrey Tautou, Francois Cluzet, Tahar Rahim, Carole Bouquet, Vincent Lindon and Mathieu Amalric will head to the Walter Reade Theater, the IFC Center and BAM in Brooklyn for the star-studded event with a French accent.
Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano’s box office hit Untouchable will open the festival with the directors set to attend for the U.S. premiere of the Weinstein Co. acquisition that will hit U.S. theaters in May. Fellow directing duo David and Stephane Foenkinos will head to NY to close the festival with their Cesar award-nominated title La Delicatesse alongside the film’s star Tautou. Other notable titles set for screenings include actor-turned-filmmaker Daniel Auteuil’s The Well-Digger’s Daughter, Benoit Jacquot’s Berlin-opener Farewell, My Queen, Mathieu Amalric’s L’Illusion Comique and Olivier Marchal’s Les Lyonnais, also a Weinstein Co. acquisition.
The public and professional event will screen both already-acquired titles and also give Unifrance a chance to introduce buyers to the 15 films in selection without U.S. distributors.
For the first time ever, seven of this year’s titles will be screened simultaneously in more than 40 American cities thanks to Emerging Pictures. Audiences across the U.S. will be able to converse with the visiting film directors and actors in New York thanks to Skype.
The 17th annual Rendez-Vous with French Cinema in New York will run from March 1 – 11.
With a degree of theatricality, Michel Desjoyeaux’s new MOD70 Foncia was christened today on Ile Saint-Nicolas in Les Glenans islands off the coast of Brittany, renowned for its sailing school – Henry Desjoyeaux, Michel’s father having been one of its founders back in 1947.
Assembled on beach were Desjoyeaux’ family, team members and representative for the trimaran’s sponsor, Foncia. The white hulled trimaran was christened by French actress Audrey Tautou, heroine of the Hollywood blockbuster, The Da Vinci Code.
Tautou has a passion for the sea and a strong admiration for those who race on it. A friend of Desjoyeaux after the two met on a television program, she was in Barcelona over the new year to see off the Barcelona World Race in which Desjoyeaux was competing with Francois Gabart.
Alongside Michel Desjoyeaux and his crew, Tautou proudly acknowledged the boat’s sponsor, breaking the traditional bottle on the bow of the trimaran’s central hull.
“I am very proud and happy too,” said Tautou. “Beyond the beauty of the boat, the skipper’s talent impresses me. It makes me so happy to be here, in the Glénans – it’s magic! I know the sea and oceans, but the world of the competition is completely unknown to me. I loved how I was greeted by Michael and his team. The world of racing is more than a sport, it’s also a way of living one’s art, with the elements and the sea in terms of sensations. This multihull is extraordinary.”
Desjoyeaux added: “A christening is a maritime tradition that perpetuates. Before we leave for our first competition – this sealed the moment. With the whole team, we have discovered in Audrey someone who is completely fascinated by the sea and boats. I knew it would please her to be the boat’s godmother! As for Glénan – it is my paradise … ”
Yves Gevin, CEO of Group FONCIA commented: “I am very happy to be here, together with the employees of Foncia, Michel, the boat’s godmother and his team in the privacy of this little corner of paradise. This christening is like a nice family celebration before the first competition of this new boat in the colours of the group. Michel and his crew, who recently won the Vulcan Trophy [for the D35 catamarans], gave a strong signal, and successfully achieved a very promising start for the rest of this new multihull program. ”
The Krys Match Cup for the three new MOD70s as well as Gitana 11 starts this Thursday.
Thankfully, the tepid romantic-comedy De vrais mensonges won’t be French star Audrey Tautou’s final film, despite her musings about giving up acting.
DE VRAIS MENSONGES **½
Starring: Audrey Tautou, Nathalie Baye, Sami Bouajila
Playing in French with English subtitles at: AMC.
Parent’s guide: Will bore them silly.
It has been 10 years since Audrey Tautou broke through to the big time with the title role in Le fabuleux destin d’Amélie Poulin. Since then, the French actress has kept her impish smile, big brown eyes and parenthesis of a figure in the limelight with such box-office hits as L’auberge espagnole, The Da Vinci Code and Coco avant Chanel.
Now, at 35 years old, it seems Tautou has had enough. “I am not superattached to my career,” she told the Daily Telegraph in August. “I have several Plan Bs: I want to become a sailor; I like to draw; I would love to learn many things, but I don’t have time … That is the problem, you know. That is the reason why I will quit acting very soon.”
Is she serious? Or is her last role – as a hairdresser who gets wrapped up in her own lies in Pierre Salvadori’s De vrais mensonges – something she has taken a little too close to heart? One thing’s for sure, if Tautou does retire, it’ll be a shame if her celluloid swansong is this rather tedious exercise in romantic comedy, which was released last December in France and is now opening here.
Tautou plays Émilie Dandrieux (a wink to Amélie? and maybe to dandruff ?), a coiffeuse who co-owns a successful hair salon in a picturesque provincial town along the Mediterranean coast in LanguedocRoussillon. Her latest hire, a Franco-Arab handyman and electrician named Jean (Sami Bouajila), has secretly fallen in love with her, and writes her a passionate letter declaring his affections.
He doesn’t sign the letter, however, so Émilie doesn’t know who it’s from. In any case, she’s not interested in having a secret admirer. Then she gets an idea. She copies the letter and sends it – again, anonymously – to her mother, Maddy (Nathalie Baye), a lonely woman whose husband has left her for a much younger woman.
Will having a phantom lover perk up Maddy’s spirits? Will she get curious and want to uncover his true identity? And what will happen if Jean ever finds out his letter has fallen into the wrong hands? Will he go along with the duplicity, or will he reveal his true feelings to Émilie? Comedies, especially French ones, are made of situations like this.
Lots of misunderstandings and miscues and unspoken yearnings, plenty of little white lies that grow bigger, a mass of double entendres and mistaken identities – there’s more than enough here to make even the most jaded theatregoers squirm with pleasure in the dark. That is, if they don’t doze off from boredom first.
Like another tepid French romcom about the agony of undeclared love that played in theatres here this summer, Jean-Pierre Améris Les Émotifs anonymes, the problem with Tautou’s latest isn’t that it’s much ado about nothing, it’s that it’s witless. And like a bad dye job, it’s a mess of artificial streaks: by turns comic, preachy, fancy-free, forced.
That’s not so much the fault of the actors, who are some of France’s best. It’s the fault of the director and his script, which he co-wrote with Benoit Graffin (La fille de Monaco).
Salvadori last worked with Tautou in his 2006 film Hors de prix, another romantic comedy about mistaken identity (Tautou’s character thinks her suitor is rich when he’s in fact just a bartender). This time, he struggles to make her quirks attractive. Like her screenmates, here she’s mostly confused, hesitant, neurotic, pathological – and simply annoying.
With a running time of 105 minutes, the movie is a quarter-hour shorter than a standard feature. But the farce goes on way too long. You can see the ending coming a mile away, and all the conflicts – mother vs. daughter, employer vs. employee, fabulist vs. realist – that should add up to a sophisticated plot merely end up feeling contrived. Read more… »
Moviegoers will have the opportunity to broaden their cultural horizons this weekend and next at George Fox University’s first French film festival.
The university will screen four French films in a collaborative effort by the French and cinema media communications departments, made possible through a renewable grant from the French American Cultural Exchange (FACE).
“It’s a great opportunity for our students and for community members to get to see some French films they wouldn’t usually see,” said GFU media communication professor Matt Meyer. “Newberg doesn’t have a lot of foreign films.”
“This is something we have talked about doing for quite some time,” said Sylvette Norré, head of GFU’s French department.
“A Town Called Panic” will show at 7 p.m. Friday; “Welcome” and “Daratt” will be unveiled at 6:30 and 8 p.m., respectively, on Saturday; “Coco Before Chanel” will be on the screen at 6 p.m. Oct. 30 and “Paris, Je T’Aime” will be 8:30 p.m. Oct. 30.
The films cover a broad range of topics and styles. “A Town Called Panic” is a stop-motion animated movie featuring a horse, a cowboy and an Indian — “kind of a cross between ‘Wallace & Gromit’ meets ‘Monty Python,’” Meyers said. Saturday’s films are political, the first about illegal immigration and the second about war and revenge in the African country of Chad. The Oct. 30 films are “more mainstream,” Meyers said. The first is about fashion icon Coco Chanel, with Audrey Tautou in the title role;the second a series of short films about love and relationships, featuring directors Joel and Ethan Coen and Wes Craven and actors Natalie Portman, Elijah Wood and Catherine Deneuve.
There will be optional talk-back sessions after the films.
“I believe that movies from Francophone countries will offer all of us a look not only at what life is like in Calais or N’Djaména, but also help us see how life can quite possibly be viewed differently,” Norré said. “This is what we do in our French language program when we learn how to communicate appropriately in French in different contexts, and when we learn about practices and perspectives.”
“The main goal is to get people to see films they wouldn’t normally see,” Meyer said. “It should be very accessible. Even if people are afraid of subtitles, they should come.”
GFU’s French and cinema programs joined forces to launch the school’s version of The Tournées Festival, a program of FACE, a New York-based nonprofit that furthers French-American relations through arts and education projects. The program aims to bring contemporary French cinema to American college campuses by giving grants to help schools start self-sustaining French film festivals.
GFU hopes to make the festival an annual event.
The films will be shown in Room 102 of GFU’s Edwards-Holman Science Center. Cost is $3 per movie or $9 for a pass to all. Tickets can be purchased by calling Valerie Rogers at 503-554-2670. Desserts — French pastries, as well as baklava for the films with Middle Eastern themes — will be available, made by Terrie Boehr of the family and consumer science department.
Anna Mouglalis is the next French actress to have played Coco Chanel in the latest biopic Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky. The film focuses on a more melancholic part of the designers life including her tragic love affair with composer Igor Stravinsky. Mouglalis, however, has controversially described the legendary couturier as a misogynist.
“She is recognised as a huge feminist, but most of the things she did, she did for herself and not for women in general,” said Mouglalis. “I would even push it further, thinking she was more of a misogynist than a feminist, since she only had male friends.”
Mouglalis has had first-hand experience of the goings-on at Chanel, having previously modelled for the label. The actress offered high praise for the brand.
“Chanel is one of the only fashion houses that doesn’t exploit women,” she said to WWD. Mouglalis added that for Coco, “eroticism was the little piece of skin between the glove and the sleeve.”
Karl Lagerfeld is yet to be impressed by the new film commenting that the role “has no relation to Mouglalis’ talent for other roles.” Mouglalis remains unphased.
“It’s a lot for someone who [Lagerfeld remembers] as full of humour to be shown as cold and dark,” Mouglalis remarked.
Trends come and go in the world of perfumes, but the classic Chanel No. 5 is one of the few exceptions to the rule. For nearly a century, it has been synonymous with elegance and sophistication-making it an easy choice as a Luxist nominee in the best fragrance category.
Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel started her company in 1909 with a single Paris store. By 1913, she had expanded to the posh European resort towns of Deauville and Biarritz, France. As the winter of 1921 approached, she gave the first 100 bottles of the fragrance to her most loyal customers as a Christmas gift. The following year, Chanel No. 5 made its official debut.
The precise origins of Chanel No. 5 are the stuff of legend. At first, Coco wanted no part of the fragrance business. “Women perfume themselves only to hide bad smells,” she famously said. But eventually French perfumer Ernst Beaux changed Coco’s mind. According to one story, the formulation of No. 5 was Beaux’s attempt to capture the smell of Europe’s northern lakes in the midnight sun; according to another, it was the result of a mixing error by Beaux’s assistant.
Whatever the origin, No. 5 remains popular as ever today, thanks in part to a vaunted advertising campaign. Spokespeople for the fragrance have included actresses Marilyn Monroe, Catherine Deneuve, Nicole Kidman, and most recently, Audrey Tautou, star of Amelie. She’s the muse for a Chanel No. 5 film directed by Jean Pierre Jeunet. The current campaign is Chanel’s first to launch online.
Chanel No. 5 perfume is described as sensual, intimate, luxurious, and the new film portrays No. 5 women of today as serene, enchanting and free—all part of an effort to renew the brand in the eyes of younger consumers. The fragrance can be purchased through Chanel’s website (1.2 oz: $61.50) or at most high end department stores.Vote for the fragrance that you believe is the best of breed. The voting period runs through May 31st and winners will be announced on June 1.
After playing Coco Chanel in Anne Fontaine’s biopic, Audrey Tautou will star in Claude Miller’s next film, “Therese B.,” an adaptation of Francois Mauriac’s novel.
The 1920-set drama follows Therese Desqueyroux, a free-spirited but unhappily married woman who struggles to free herself from social pressures and the boredom of suburban life.
TF1 Intl. has picked up international sales and will launch pre-sales at Cannes’ film market.
The $12.7 million costumer is produced by Yves Marmion’s outfit UGC-YM. Lensing will start in 2011. UGC will handle the French theatrical release.
Tautou’s previous film, “Coco Before Chanel,” was last year’s top French-language export, taking more than $36.5 million at the international B.O. outside the U.S.
TF1 Intl. has also taken foreign sales rights to Sarah Polley’s second feature, “Take This Waltz,” a dramedy starring Michelle Williams and Seth Rogen. Lensing is set to kick off in July in Toronto. Pic is co-produced by Polley and Susan Cavan’s Accent Entertainment, in association with Telefilm Canada. Mongrel Media will handle the Canadian distribution.
Polley’s feature helming debut, “Away From Her,” earned two Oscar noms.
At Cannes, the French sales company will also hold market preems for Kristin Scott Thomas starrer “Love Crime,” a sexy thriller set in the corporate world; Wall Street-set “Trader Games,” starring French thesp Gilles Lellouche; Yann Gozlan’s “Caged”; and Jacques Malaterre’s “Ao, the Last Neanderthal.”