La French begins post-production
by Fabien Lemercier
- Filming is over for the thriller by Cédric Jimenez, played by Jean Dujardin and Gilles Lellouche, a Légende production sold by Gaumont
The last clapperboard slammed on Friday in Antwerp after 14 weeks of filming for the Franco-Belgian co-production La French, the second feature by Cédric Jimenez after Paris Under Watch [+see also:
film profile]. This thriller inspired by real events (a young judge's fight against organised crime) stars Jean Dujardin (Oscar for Best Actor in 2012 and Best Actor Award at Cannes in 2011 for The Artist [+see also:
interview: Michel Hazanavicius
film profile], and soon to be seen in The Wolf of Wall Street by Martin Scorsese and The Monuments Men [+see also:
film profile] by George Clooney) and Gilles Lellouche (nominated for the César 2011 for Best Actor in a Supporting Role for Little White Lies [+see also:
film profile], on screens next year with Mea Culpa and La justice ou le chaos). The cast also features rising star Céline Sallette, the always excellent Benoît Magimel, Mélanie Doutey, Guillaume Gouix, Moussa Maaskri, Bruno Todeschini, Féodor Atkine, Gérard Meylan and Bernard Blancan.
Written by Cédric Jimenez and Audrey Diwan, the screenplay begins in Marseilles in 1975. Pierre Michel (Dujardin), a young judge who came from Metz with his wife and children, is put in charge of organised crime. He decides to go after the "French Connection", a mafia organisation that exports heroin throughout the world. Not heeding any of the warnings, judge Michel leads this battle alone against Gaëtan Zampa (Lellouche), an emblematic and out-of-reach figure. He will rapidly understand that to obtain results, he will have to change his methods...
Produced by Ilan Goldman for Légende, La French benefitted from a budget of about 18 M€ including coproductions by France 2 Cinéma, Gaumont (which will launch the film in France on October 8, 2014 and handles international sales) and Belgian company Scope Pictures. Pre-purchased by Canal+ and Ciné+, the film is also backed by the Wallimage fund and the Paca (Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur) region where half of the 68 days of filming, which had begun on August 26, took place. The rest of the shoot was set in Belgium, notably in Brussels, Antwerp and Charleroi.
It is worth noting that Légende reached a million admissions in France with each of its previous three productions this year (Paulette [+see also:
film profile] with 1 million spectators, Vive la France [+see also:
film profile] with 1.1 million and The Brats [+see also:
film profile] with 1.6 million). The Parisian company is also handling the post-production of Crocodile from Botswanga by duo Fabrice Eboué - Lionel Steketee (read the article – to be released on February 19, 2014) and the family comedy My Summer in Provence by Rose Bosch (to be released on April 2, 2014, starring Jean Reno).
(Translated from French)