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France Sends ‘Saint Laurent’ to Campaign For Foreign-Language Oscar Nominations

PARIS– Bertrand Bonello’s “Saint-Laurent,” a sultry biopic of the French famed designer, is set to represent France in the foreign-language Oscar campaign.

The movie world-premiered in competition at Cannes where it was acquired by Sony Pictures Classics.

It’s produced by Eric and Nicolas Altmayer at Mandarin Cinema and Luc Besson’s EuropaCorp, which also handled international sales. Arte Cinema et Orange Studio co-produced. Thomas Bidegain, one of the screenwriters of Jacques Audiard’s “A Prophet,”co-wrote the script with Bonello. 

Bonello’s film stars Gaspard Ulliel, Louis Garrel and Lea Seydoux. The helmer’s credits include “House of Pleasures” (then titled “House of Tolerance”) and “Tiresia,” both of which competed at Cannes.

Another pic about the designer, “Yves Saint-Laurent,” directed by Jalil Lespert, was recently released by The Weinstein Company in the States.

Bonello’s take on Saint-Laurent is, however, more controversial and revealing than Lespert’s film, which was backed by the designer’s partner Pierre Berge.

Variety’s Guy Lodge called the movie a “Gorgeous, seductively silly evocation of the fashion legende’s creative drive.”

The selection committee comprises two permanent members, Thierry Fremaux, Cannes Film Festival’s managing director, and Serge Toubiana, president of the CNC’s advance of receipts, as well as five French industry professionals: Alain Terzian, president of the Cesar Academy, Jean-Paul Salomé, president of French film promotion org Unifrance, director Régis Wargnier, whose 1992’s “Indochine” is the last French film to have won a foreign-language Oscar, and two femme helmers, Agnes Jaoui and Mia Hansen-Love, whose latest movie “Eden” was a standout at Toronto.

France hasn’t earned a foreign-language Oscar nomination since 2010 with Audiard’s gritty prison drama “A Prophet” toplining Tahar Rahim.

The Omar-Sy starrer “Intouchables,” distributed by TWC in the U.S., was shortlisted but didn’t get nominated for a foreign-language Academy Award in 2013.


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