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Gaumont Bows Sales on Xavier Giannoli’s Adaptation of Balzac’s Masterpiece ‘Lost Illusions’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Gaumont has come on board Xavier Giannoli’s “Lost Illusions,” a big-budget French drama based on Honoré de Balzac’s masterpiece powered by a cast including Benjamin Voisin, Xavier Dolan, Vincent Lacoste, Cecile de France, Gerard Depardieu and Jeanne Balibar.

Gaumont is handling international sales, kicking off at AFM, and will release the film in France at the end of next year. Olivier Delbosc at Curiosa Films is producing the ambitious movie that boasts a budget of $17.5 million and ranks as one of the biggest French-language films slated for 2020.

“Lost Illusions” revolves around Lucien de Rubempré (Voisin), a young, lower-class poet who is madly in love with the baroness Louise de Bargeton. The risk of scandal forces them to flee to Paris where they could live freely, but Lucien is abandoned by the baroness and finds himself alone and penniless, until he meets a young journalist who takes him under his wing.

The script was written by Giannoli, in collaboration with Jacques Fieschi (“Yves Saint Laurent”).

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” ‘Lost Illusions’ dwells on one moment in a young man’s life; it also examines a moment in our history that is strangely relevant today. I am particularly touched by the theme of a generation in search of itself because it has been fed on false hopes,” said Giannoli in his director’s statement. “Think Ophuls or Scorsese, and the fates of their characters who are thrown into a maelstrom of human passions, where social forces collide, reel and attract each other,” added Giannoli.

Voisin is a rising French actor who will also star in Francois Ozon’s next film, “Eté 84.”

“Lost Illusions” recently finished shooting. The key crew includes the costume designer Piers-Jean Larroque (“Marguerite”) and the cinematographer Christophe Baucarne (“Coco Before Chanel”). Delbosc’s producing credits include “The Midwife,” “The Odyssey” and “Renoir.”

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