Dumas, in the shadow of glory
by Fabien Lemercier
10/02/2010 - Having won acclaim for The Giraffe’s Neck and Mark of an Angel [trailer], Safy Nebbou returns with Dumas [trailer], which is being launched in theatres today by UGC Distribution and will have a special screening at the Berlinale.
With brilliant performances by Gérard Depardieu and Benoît Poelvoorde, the film, whose cast also includes Dominique Blanc, Mélanie Thierry and Catherine Mouchet, is set in 1848. Auguste Maquet, ghostwriter of famous novelist Alexandre Dumas, tries to rebel, wishing to claim his share of limelight and glory.
"The substitution of identity, the ‘ghostwriter’ who thinks he is the author: I thought this was a wonderful idea, with a real potential for comedy, as well as tragedy," explained Nebbou. Admiration, mimicry, loss of self, love-hate: the question of identity is at the heart of Dumas.
The director has also been careful not to "get trapped in the period and the codes of costume drama" with DoP Stéphane Fontaine (A Prophet [trailer, film focus]) lensing on location and the decision to "film mainly with a shoulder-held camera".
The film was produced by Film Oblige in co-production with UGC Images, France 2 Cinéma and Belgian company K2. Its €9.63m budget included pre-sales from Canal + and TPS Star, and backing from the Ile-de-France region.
Also on this Wednesday’s line-up, Le Pacte is releasing zombie film The Horde [trailer] by Yannick Dahan and Benjamin Rocher (see video interview); and Ad Vitam is launching Marc Recha’s French/Spanish co-production Little Indi [trailer].
Also hitting screens are two documentaries: Dominique Marchais’ Le Temps des Grâces (“The Time of Graces”, distributed by Capricci Films) and Camille de Casabianca’s C'est Parti (“Let’s Go”, Ciné Classic); a Russian film; and six US features, including I Love You Phillip Morris (distributed by its producer EuropaCorp).
(Translated from French)