Actress leads blue-chip Gallic cast in Canet film

Marion Cotillard will topline “Les Petits Mouchoirs,” a $25 million tragicomedy that marks the next film from helmer Guillaume Canet.

Canet’s second film, suspense thriller “Tell No One,” took $6.2 million Stateside, a standout result for a foreign-language film in the U.S. last year.

Written as well as directed by Canet in his first solo outing as a screenwriter, “Mouchoirs” is produced by Alain Attal at Les Productions du Tresor, who also produced Canet’s “Anything You Say” and ” Tell No One.”

A generational tragicomedy, “Mouchoirs” follows a group of friends from Paris to the coast at Cap Ferret near Bordeaux for their traditional summer holiday together. But the mood sobers as characters confess their innermost concerns. 

Cotillard leads a blue-chip Gallic cast, including Francois Cluzet, the lead of “Tell No One,” Benoit Magimel (“Intimate Enemies”), Anne Marivin (“Welcome to the Sticks”), Gilles Lelouche (“Public Enemy Number One”) and Jean Dujardin (“OSS 117: Lost in Rio”). 

“In the vein of ‘The Big Chill’ and ‘Peter’s Friends,’ ‘Mouchoirs’ mixes moments of high comedy and large emotions,” Attal said at Cannes, where he’s shopping Canet’s script to sales agents, distributors and Gallic TV operators.

Canet’s third film will shoot for 12 weeks starting Aug. 3: four in Paris, eight in Cap Ferret.

Co-produced and fully financed by EuropaCorp, “Tell No One,” which was recently picked up for a U.S. remake by Miramax and Focus, encouraged Attal to speed up production from one film every 18 months to a more brisk pace. 

Tresor has two upcoming bows in France, September’s “The Whistler,” the directorial debut of “Tell No One” screenwriter Philippe Lefebvre, with Thierry Lhermitte; and November’s “The Concert,” from Radu Mihaileanu.

Nicole Garcia is currently shooting the Tresor-produced “Balcony on the Beach,” a Hitchcock-tinged romantic identity thriller with Jean Dujardin, Marie Josee Croze  and Claudia Cardinale.

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