Isabelle Adjani in David et Madame Hansen
by Fabien Lemercier
29/08/2012 - Although television pre-acquisitions have made it increasingly common in France over the last few years, a television screenwriter or comedian’s changeover to cinema is usually not a guarantee of quality (or success). But Alexandre Astier, the creator, actor, and director of off-beat television series Kaamelott (2005-2009), has made the transition relatively smoothly with his dramatic comedy David et Madame Hansen, today released in 102 cinemas by its producer Pathé. The film stars Isabelle Adjani (photo), who returned to the limelight in 2010 with her Cesar for Best Actress for her role in Skirt Day [trailer].
Alexandre Astier (who wrote the screenplay) plays an occupational therapist in an expensive Swiss clinic. He sets out on an errand with a strange patient (Adjani), who is both provocative and distressed. Thus starts a road movie to the backdrop of Alzheimer’s disease that has pleasantly surprised most critics.
Another French production, Xavier Giannoli’s Superstar [trailer, film focus] (read more) is also out, a day before it is to screen in the competition at the 69th Venice Film Festival. The film has received good reviews, and could well become the director’s best hit in cinemas so far, notably thanks to its popular star Kad Merad and Wild Bunch’s ambitious distribution of the film in 325 cinemas.
There have also been great reviews for François Pirot’s Mobile Home [trailer], a co-production between Belgium, France, and Luxembourg discovered in the competition at the last Locarno Film Festival (read more) and released by DistriB Films on 27 copies.
Sylvie Verheyde’s Confession of a Child of the Century [trailer] (co-produced by France, the United Kingdom, and Germany) has however received rather lukewarm reviews. The film is a daring adaptation of Alfred de Musset’s work of the same name, starring Charlotte Gainsbourg and Peter Doherty. After being unveiled in the Un Certain Regard section at the last Cannes Film Festival (read the review), Ad Vitam has now released 61 copies of the film in French cinemas.
Then there is Namir Abdel Messeeh’s very good documentary The Virgin, the Copts and Me (co-produced by France) that was selected for the Panorama at the last Berlinale. In it, the sceptical filmmaker finds out more about mysterious Virgin apparitions in his home country of Egypt (Sophie Dulac Distribution). Finally, also out are Swedish filmmaker Alexandra-Therese Keining’s Kyss Mig - With Every Heartbeat [trailer] (read more - distribution: Outplay with Feelgoodmoviz) and Aurélien Levêque’s Franco-Belgian documentary El Puesto (Hévadis Films).
(Translated from French)