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Marion Cotillard’s Drama ‘Angel Face’ Bought by Cinema Libre (EXCLUSIVE)

Cinema Libre Studio has acquired North American rights to “Angel Face” (Gueule d’Ange), starring Marion Cotillard, Variety has learned exclusively.

The drama marks the first feature-length film for French director Vanessa Filho (“Love Punch”), based on an original screenplay developed by Filho with Alain Dias. The movie was produced by Moana Films’ Marc Missonnier (“Marguerite”) and Carole Lambert (“Free Angela and All Political Prisoners”) via Windy Production with Mars Films co-producing and distributing in France, where it premiered in theaters on May 23.

The pic, which debuted at the Cannes Film Festival in Un Certain Regard, stars Cotillard as a single mother who lives with her 8-year-old daughter on the French Riviera, where she is more interested in partying and reality TV shows than taking care of her child. The daughter starts to wear makeup and drink alcohol, and the mother suddenly abandons her for a man she has just met during yet another night of excessive partying. The daughter — portrayed by newcomer Ayline Aksoy-Etaix — then finds an unwitting father figure.

Alban Lenoir (“Taken”), Amélie Daure, and Stéphane Rideau (“Wild Reeds”) also star in the film.

“I think she’s the classic pattern of a woman who thinks she doesn’t deserve the love that others have for her: she throws away her loving relationships,” Cotillard said. “She doesn’t realize in her thirst for self-fulfillment, freedom, and the profound wish to achieve something for herself, she’s abandoning a child who isn’t old enough to grow, develop, and conduct herself on her own.”

The deal follows Chinese financier Lily Yang’s expanded investment into Burbank-based Cinema Libre, announced at Cannes. Founder and CEO Philippe Diaz negotiated the deal with Nicolas Brigaud-Robert, partner and co-founder of the Playtime group.

“’Angel Face’ was definitely the strongest and most powerful film I saw in Cannes this year — and I saw many of them,” he said. “The film is illuminated by Marion Cotillard’s unbelievable acting which should earn her a new Oscar nomination for inhabiting this complex anti-hero so completely.”

“Angel Face” will open later this year in North America.

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