You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Rendez-Vous primes middlebrow comedy fare

'Moliere,' 'Homeland,' 'True Friends' among standouts


Philippe Le Guay’s dramedy “Cycling With Moliere,” Mohamed Hamidi’s immigration drama “Homeland” and bromance tale “True Friends” were among standouts at the 15th Unifrance Paris Rendez-Vous, which ended Monday.

Although lacking a must-buy title, the seven-day RDV proved once again an effective launch-pad for comedic or concept-driven middlebrow French fare.

The Pathe Intl.-repped “Moliere” closed Spain (Wanda) and Italy (Theodora) with Scandinavia, Poland and Hungary in discussions, said Pathe Intl. head Muriel Sauzay. “Moliere” was pre-sold to Belgium (Victory), Canada (Mongrel), Brazil (Imagen) and Israel (Orlando).

Set in countryside around northern France’s La Rochelle, “Moliere” stars Lambert Wilson as a TV soap star trying to lure another thesp, played by a risibly grumpy Fabrice Luchini, out of retirement for Moliere’s “The Misanthrope.”

“We opened in France on January 16, the Rendez-vous’ first day, and it was a winning strategy: the film earned great word-of-mouth, proving the best-opening French film last week,” Sauzay said. “Moliere” grossed a first five-day $2 million.

Pathe Intl.’s RDV opener, Danielle Thompson’s “It Happened in Saint Tropez” drew interest from Germany and Canada.

From “Intouchables” producer Quad, “Homeland,” an ingeniously structured immigration comedy — a French man ends up trying to re-enter France as an illegal immigrant — stirred buzz off a Wild Bunch promo.

The SND-sold “True Friends” drew good word-of-mouth as a tender, classy dramedy about three longtime buddies. Jean-Hughes Anglade (“Braquo”) co-stars.

Of other movies, “Wrestling Queens,” given a big push by Wild Bunch, looks set for multiple deals.

Gaumont’s older woman drug pusher comedy “Paulette,” from Alain Goldman’s Legende, played well, and has initiated major territory sales.

Studiocanal’s romantic comedy “The Stroller Plan” generated unspecified deals.

EuropaCorp’s “It Boy,” toplining Virginie Efira (“Second Chance”) as an uptight fashion mag journo, is now in negotiations for English-speaking territories, Poland, Turkey, Italy and Spain, said EuropaCorp’s international sales topper Marie-Laure Montironi. Pic pre-sold Belgium, Germany, Russia and Latin America.

“Almost Charming,” another EuropaCorp romantic comedy, was licensed by Russia’s All Media, which plans a 40-plus print release.

Some distributors lamented the lack of a major standout.

“There wasn’t a perfect movie that had everyone smitten,” said Milada Kolberg, acquisition-sales head at Germany’s Senator, a key buyer of French films. She added, however, she was in advanced negotiations on two films.

But many distributors used the screenings to circle upcoming fare, including Berlin competish players: Le Pacte’s “The Nun,” Wild Bunch’s “Camille Claudel 1915,” from Bruno Dumont, and Elle Driver’s Catherine Deneuve starrer “On My Way.”

Camille Neel, Le Pacte’s international sales topper, who showed a “Nun” promo, said it has pre-sold to 30-plus territories since Cannes. “Nun” will close five more territories, including one major market, off the RDV.

Images from Michel Gondry’s “Mood Indigo,” one of France’s most-anticipated movies for this year, reportedly wowed buyers.

Buyers swarmed to a Wild Bunch promo-teaser presentation of upcoming pics, ranging from high-profile auteur movies such as Abdellatif Kechiche’s “Blue Is the Warmest Color” to Luc Jacquet’s stunningly shot “Once Upon a Forest.”

More Film

  • Three Identical Strangers

    Film News Roundup: 'Three Identical Strangers' Feature Adaptation Taps 'Bohemian Rhapsody' Writer

    In today’s film news roundup, “Three Identical Strangers” is moving ahead, Skeet Ulrich has been cast with Tom Hanks, the “Minions” sequel has been titled and “Vegas Dave” is getting a movie. MCCARTEN ATTACHED “Bohemian Rhapsody” screenwriter Anthony McCarten will write and produce the feature adaptation of the documentary “Three Identical Strangers.” Raw, Film4 and [...]

  • Bong Joon-ho, Choi Woo-shik. Director Bong

    Bong Joon-ho's 'Parasite' Earns Five-Minute Cannes Ovation

    Just days after the announcement of the selection of “Parasite” for main competition at the Cannes Film Festival, South Korean director Bong Joon-ho warned members of the local press not to expect his film to win the Palme d’Or. He also suggested that the film was “hyper local” and possibly difficult for foreign audiences to [...]

  • 'Parasite' Review: A Brilliant, Bleak Bong

    Cannes Film Review: 'Parasite'

    A laugh turns into a snarl which gets stuck in the throat like a sob — or an arrow through the neck — in Bong Joon-ho’s latest wild, wild ride, “Parasite.” On paper, that might not sound so very different from the experience of watching Bong’s “Snowpiercer,” “Memories of Murder” “The Host” or “Okja.” The [...]

  • 'Maradona' Director Asif Kapadia Talks About

    'Diego Maradona' Director Asif Kapadia Talks About His Cannes Doc

    Global sports icon and lauded soccer player Diego Maradona’s dramatic life intrigued Oscar and BAFTA winner director Asif Kapadia (“Amy,” “Senna”) while he was still in film school. “It had an incredibly strong backstory and extremes of good and dark,” he recalls. Fast-forward to more than 20 years later as his feature documentary, “Diego Maradona” [...]

  • the long walk

    Stephen King's 'The Long Walk' Film Taps 'Scary Stories to Tell' Director

    New Line has tapped André Øvredal to direct the feature adaptation of Stephen King’s dystopian thriller “The Long Walk.” Øvredal’s credits include mystery thriller “The Autopsy of Jane Doe” and the upcoming horror film “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark,” co-written and produced by Guillermo del Toro and releasing on Aug. 9. James Vanderbilt [...]

  • Central Partnership Inks Multiple Deals on

    Cannes: Central Partnership Inks Multiple Deals on 'Billion' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Russia’s Central Partnership has closed several territory sales on Roman Prygunov’s comedy crime thriller “Billion.” Central Partnership has sold the movie to China (Jetsen Huashi Media), Turkey (ATV), France and French-speaking territories (Trade Media), Bulgaria (A Plus Film) and Baltics (GPI). The film centers on banker Matvey Levin, who goes to great lengths to avoid [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content