Saturday, April 25, 2015

2015 Cannes Check #6 - The French Part 2

Let's continue with the French male directors in the competition, Guillaume Nicloux and Stéphane Brizé. Remember that Jacques Audiard already has his own post.

Guillaume Nicloux

Born in August 3, 1966. He is known as a writer and has published 9 novels; so was natural that one of his first cinema related work was as a screenwriter with the script of 1990. But a few years before, in 1987 he directs his first short film L'Orage and starts a directing career that include several short films, TV films and feature films. He also occasionally performs as an actor.

Not really familiar with this director and the only film I have seen by him is his 2013 La religieuse (The Nun) that opened In Competition at 2013 Berlinale which I found not easy to watch, except for the outstanding performance by Isabelle Huppert in another very disturbing role. Worth mentioning that his third feature film Faut pas rire du bonheur was part of the 1994 Cannes official selection in the Cinémas en France section, so it's not his first visit to Cannes but definitively is his first time in the main competition.

Still do not understand why his 10th feature film has an English name, Valley of Love, but I imagine has to be related to the USA Death Valley location. Nicloux works again with Isabelle Huppert in the female lead role but this time the male lead role goes to Gérard Depardieu, so here you have two giants of French cinema together in what could be a very dramatic/intense (French style) narrative and wouldn't be surprising if performances are highly disturbing. No doubt that both have to be contenders for the acting awards but wonder if film will make it to the top award front-runners. I watch everything with Isabelle Huppert, so film is must be seen for me.

Basic info about Valley of Love
Director: Guillaume Nicloux
Scriptwriter: Guillaume Nicloux
Language: French and English
Runtime: 91 mins
Production countries: France
Production Companies: Le Films du Worso (Sylvie Pialat), LGM Cinéma SAS (Cyril Colbeau-Justin et Jean-Baptiste Dupont), France 3 Cinéma
Distribution: Le Pacte

Cast: Isabelle Huppert, Gérard Depardieu

Plot Summary
Two famous actors who had a son 25 years ago reunite after his death. They each receive a letter from him asking them to travel together to Death Valley and visit five places in order to see him reappear.

Synopsis in French
Isabelle et Gérard ont perdu leur fils il y a six mois. Pourtant, ce dernier leur a adressé une lettre dans laquelle il donne rendez-vous à ses parents dans "La vallée de la mort", en plein coeur des Etats-Unis. Malgré l'absurdité de la situation, le père et la mère ont décidé de s'y rendre et de l'attendre.

Film Still

Stéphane Brizé

He was born on October 18, 1966 in Rennes, Ille-et-Vilaine, France. Attends IUT to get a technician degree and works as a TV technician in Paris while taking acting courses. In 1993 he directs, writes and performs in his first short film Bleu dommage; his first feature film 1999 Le bleu des villes was screened in 1999 Cannes Directors' Fortnight but maybe he is better-known for his 4th feature film, Mademoiselle Chambon that opened at 2009 Pusan fest or his 5th feature film Quelques heures de printemps (A Few Hours of Sprint) that premiered in 2012 Locarno fest.

We can say that he is a festival regular but even when has been twice in Cannes before, once in a parallel section and another as jury member of the 2010 Camera d'Or, it's the first time he is In Competition for the Palme d'Or. Unfortunately I'm not familiar with director at all, so will have to meet him when I see his 2015 film La loi du marché. Worth mentioning that is his third film with Vincent Lindon in the lead male role but most of the actors are non-professionals.

Basic info about La loi du marché (The Measure of a Man)
Director: Stéphane Brizé
Scriptwriter: Stéphane Brizé and Olivier Gorce
Language: French
Runtime: 93 mins
Production countries: France
Production Companies: Arte France Cinéma, Nord-Ouest Productions
Distribution: Diaphana Distribution, MK2 for International Sales

Cast: Vincent Lindon

Plot Summary
At the age of 51 and after 20 months on unemployment, Thierry starts a new job that soon brings him face to face with a moral dilemma. How much is he willing to accept to keep his job?

Official Trailer

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