A very French Christmas in cinemas
by Fabien Lemercier
20/12/2006 - While Luc Besson’s Arthur and the Invisibles [trailer] has got off to a lightning start, clocking up 1.35m admissions in five days, French films are making up the lion’s share of new releases at the end of 2006.
The top two releases this Wednesday are Thierry Klifa’s Family Hero [trailer] (see news), starring Gérard Lanvin, Catherine Deneuve, Emmanuelle Béart and Valérie Lemercier, out on 458 screens (dist. UGC Distribution), and Patrice Leconte’s My Best Friend [trailer] (see interview and news), starring Daniel Auteuil and Dany Boon, opening on 402 screens through Wild Bunch Distribution.
French animation is also on show with Piccolo, Saxo & Cie [trailer] by directing duo Eric Gutierrez and Marco Villamizar (267 prints, Haut et Court; see article) and Dominique Monféry’s Franklin and Granny’s Secret (245 screens, Mars Distribution ).
Other Mars Distribution releases this week include Le grand appartement [trailer] by Pascal Thomas, starring Laetitia Casta and Matthieu Amalric, while Gaumont/Columbia TriStar are releasing approximately 100 prints of Marc Rivière’s French/Belgian/Bulgarian co-production Vatanen's Hare [trailer], an adaptation of the eponymous novel by Finnish director Arto Paasilinna, starring Christophe Lambert and Julie Gayet.
European productions are also taking advantage of the festive season with the release of Into Great Silence [trailer, film focus] by German helmer Philip Gröning (see Focus), voted Best Documentary of the Year at the recent European Film Awards and opening this Wednesday through Diaphana on 14 screens.
Also out today is Australian/Italian (Fandango) co-production Ten Canoes by Rolf de Heer, which was among the prize winners in the Un Certain Regard sidebar at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival (ID–Memento, 15 prints).
Film lovers can also discover the Portuguese/French/Italian co-production Trance [trailer] by Teresa Villaverde, which screened at Cannes Directors’ Fortnight earlier this year (Gemini Films, see article) and French/Belgian/UK/Chad feature Daratt [trailer] by Mahamat-Saleh Haroun, Special Jury Prize winner at the 2006 Venice Film Festival (see article), which opens through Pyramide on 30 screens.
(Translated from French)