Nothing to Declare hits theatres
by Fabien Lemercier
After his phenomenal hit Welcome to the Sticks [trailer] (20.4m admissions in France and a hugely successful Italian remake Welcome to the South [trailer]), the director-actor’s latest comedy has received extraordinary media attention which has hardly been dimmed by the lukewarm reviews. The film has already garnered over 470,000 admissions in five days on early release in northern France and Belgium (which co-produced the film). Moreover, Pathé has shown its total faith in Boon by signing a deal with him for three more features.
Scripted by the director, Nothing to Declare stars Boon, Benoît Poelvoorde, Karin Viard and François Damiens, alongside Bouli Lanners and Olivier Gourmet, among others. Once again, it centres on a pair of complete opposites: two customs officers, a Frenchman and a Belgian, who have to work together when border posts are closed in 1993 as part of Europe’s Schengen Agreement.
This French/Belgian co-production was piloted by Pathé and Les Productions du Ch’timi in association with TF1 Films Productions and Scope Pictures. Its budget of around €22m included pre-acquisitions from Canal + and CinéCinéma, as well as backing from Wallimage.
This enormous release, for which Pathé spent almost €1.5m in marketing, has a rival for audiences: Tom Hooper’s outstanding, critically-acclaimed Brit feature The King’s Speech [trailer, film focus], which has received 12 Oscar nominations (including Best Film and Best Actor for Colin Firth). It is being launched by Wild Bunch Distribution on 260 screens.
Quality European films are also to the fore with Damjan Kozole’s Slovenian Girl [trailer] (see video interview and news – Epicentre Films on ten screens); Norwegian director Hans Petter Moland’s A Somewhat Gentle Man [trailer, film focus] (Europa Cinemas Award at Berlin and top winner at Les Arcs European Film Festival – Chrysalis Films on 17 screens); and Romanian director Marian Crisan’s Morgen [trailer] (Special Jury Prize at Locarno – Les Films du Losange on ten screens).
French production is also represented in this week’s line-up by Lola Doillon’s In Your Hands [trailer], starring Kristin Scott Thomas (see news – Mars Distribution on 50 screens); Sarah Bouyain’s majority co-production The Place In Between (unveiled in Venice Days – see review and video interview – Colifilms Diffusion on two screens); and Argentinean director Pablo Trapero’s minority co-production Carancho [trailer], which won great acclaim in the Un Certain Regard section at Cannes 2010 (Ad Vitam on 56 screens).
(Translated from French)