Jean Denizot to direct La Belle vie
by Fabien Lemercier
15/06/2012 - On July 9, Jean Denizot will start shooting his first feature: La Belle vie (lit. “The good life”). According to our information, the director, who last year participated in the Ateliers d’Angers, has brought together a cast made up of Nicolas Bouchaud (photo - mostly an actor on stage, but also in films such as Don’t Touch the Axe [trailer]), Swiss actor Jean-Philippe Ecoffey (Une bouteille à la mer [trailer]), Italian actress Maya Sansa (soon to appear in Dormant Beauty [trailer, film focus] by Marco Bellocchio), Zacharie Chasseriaud (The Giants [trailer, film focus]), Jules Pélissier (Lights Out [trailer]), and Solène Rigot (17 Girls [trailer]).
The screenplay is written by Jean Denizot and Frédérique Moreau in collaboration with Catherine Paillé. As it starts, Sylvain (Zacharie Chassseriaud), his brother, and his father have already spent ten years on the run, hiding along France’s autoroutes. Ten years before, when Yves (Nicolas Bouchaud) lost custody of his two sons, the latter didn’t hesitate to follow him, to stay with the man they loved so much, blaming their mother, the justice system, and everybody else looking for them along the way. But now the boys have grown up, and there is no end to this way of life. They are missing out on all the dreams and joys they should be enjoying at their age. When, once again, the father and sons have to flee, Pierre (Jules Pélissier), the eldest, makes the most of the opportunity to disappear. Left alone with his father, stuck on an island on the river Loire, Sylvain meets Gilda (Solène Rigot), the first girl, the first love, and the first step on the path to the good life, his very own.
Produced by Mathieu Bompoint for Mezzanine Films, La Belle vie is co-produced by M141, Shellac, Dublin Films, and Arane Productions. Supported by an advance on receipts of up to €440,000 from the National Film and Moving Image Centre (CNC), as well as by the Centre and Aquitaine regions, the Pyrénées-Atlantiques department, SoficaIndefilms, and Procirep, the film will be shot between July 9 and August 20 (18 days in the Aquitaine region in Lescun, Bedous, and Pau, then 18 days in the Centre, mostly in the Sancerrois). Shellac is in charge of the film’s distribution in France, while international sales are still under negotiation.
La Belle vie is the third feature to be produced by Mezzanine Films, after Free Hands [trailer] by Brigitte Sy (selected for the Forum at the 2011 Berlinale) and Le paradis des bêtes [trailer] (lit. “Beasts’ paradise”) by Estelle Larrivaz (out in France last March).