Marguerite – Xavier Giannoli. In competition at the Venice Film Festival, Marguerite marks the return to the big screen of the remarkable Catherine Frot (La Tourneuse de Pages, Le DÎner de Cons) after a three year absence. She plays Marguerite, a tone-deaf socialite who dreams of fame as an opera singer. Set in the 1920s, it is based on the true story of American Florence Foster Jenkins. Marguerite could also mark Giannoli’s return to form after the disappointing Superstar.
Une Enfance – Philippe Claudel. After the star-studded cast of his last film Avant L’Hiver (Daniel Auteuil, Kristen Scott-Thomas, Leila Bekhti), Claudel says he wanted a simpler approach to his fourth full-length feature and most of the actors are relatively unknown in France. Une Enfance follows 13-year-old Jimmy over one long hot summer as he’s caught between a drifting mother and a stepfather who has her wrapped around his little finger. Claudel’s first feature, I’ve Loved you for so Long, was a hit in France and won awards both at home and internationally including a BAFTA award for best film Not in the English Language.
asphalte – Samuel Benchetrit. Adapted from his own best selling novel Macadam Chronicles, the film is a series of vignettes following the inhabitants of a run-down apartment building in the Parisan suburbs. It was well recieved at a special screening at May’s Cannes Film Festival and boasts fine performances by Isabelle Huppert, American actor Michael Pitt, and Benchetrit’s own son, Jules.
Belles Familles – Jean Paul Rappeneau. This is the highly praised director of Cyrano and The Horseman on the Roof‘s first film in over 12 years after the award winning Bon Voyage in 2003. Billed as a fast-paced comedy, it has a star-studded cast including Mathieu Amalric, Karin Viard and Andre Dussolier. The story revolves around a French businessman (Amalric) in Shanghai who returns to his childhood home and finds he must sort out his family’s legal problems.
Mon Roi – Maiwenn. Emmanuelle Bercot won the Best Actress prize at the Cannes Film Festival in this love story recounting the tumultuous relationship between Tony (Bercot) and Georgio ( Vincent Cassel). This was Maiwenn’s second major success at Cannes after she took the Jury prize at the festival with Polisse in 2013.