Pinocchio and The Sea
- Panned by critics, Roberto Benigni's film is out on 450 French screens but he & Kormakur face stiff competition from Effroyables Jardins & surprise hit, Chouchou
Two great European movies are being released in France: Italian Roberto Benigni's Pinocchio [+see also:
film profile] (out on 450 screens) and Icelander Baltasar Kormàkur's feature The Sea [+see also:
film profile], on 50.
Distributor Gaumont-Buena Vista International hope that the Italian mega-production will repeat its domestic success (over 4.5million tickets sold) and survive its US flop. Although Benigni’s film was panned by French critics, the distributors hope that the strong PR campaign they've run and the fond memories of Benigni's last major hit, Life is Beautiful (seen by 4.3 French filmgoers) will be sufficient encouragement for Gallic audiences.
In terms of their respective budgets, the two films present a cinematographic David (The Sea) and Goliath (Pinocchio) situation since Pinocchio was made with an Italian record high of Euros50m.
Distributed by Pyramide, Kormakur’s film (he of 101 Reykjavik) has several aces up its sleeve. Co-produced by Iceland’s Blue Eyes Productions and France’s Emotions Pictures with monies from the Icelandic Film Fund, the Nordic Film & TV Fund and Eurimages, the film stars French actress Hélène de Fougerolles (Le Raid, Go Figure! and, as of 9 April, also Fanfan la Tulipe [+see also:
These two films are up against some stiff local competition from Jean Becker’s Effroyables jardins starring André Dussolier and Thierry Lhermitte released onto 350 screens, and the 19 March surprise hit, Chouchou, which attracted over 1 million filmgoers in its first five days out.
(Translated from French)
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