Le Candidat: Attal for president
by Fabien Lemercier
11/04/2007 - At 11 days from the first round of the French presidential elections, cinema is also gearing up for the electoral campaign with today’s release of Le Candidat [trailer], a debut feature scripted, directed and starring actor Niels Arestrup (2006 Cesar for Best Supporting Actor) alongside Yvan Attal as the president, Italian actress Stefania Rocca, Maurice Benichou and Laurent Grévill.
Produced by Pascal Verroust from ADR Productions, the film explores the behind-the-scenes of power between the two rounds of the French presidential elections.
After disappointing results in the first round, candidate Michel Dedieu (Attal) meets with advisors in his family home in order to prepare a television debate against his opponent. In personal crisis and trying to please his political entourage to the point of exhaustion, he suddenly discovers the game of manipulation and tries to find his own way out of the trap in which he finds himself.
Among the 11 new releases of the week (including four US productions, one Korean and one Chilean film), the other French star this week without doubt is actress Isabelle Carré, who has been lauded by critics for her role as the erotomaniac Anna M. [trailer]. Co-starring Gilbert Melki, the feature helmed by Michel Spinosa (see interview) screened at the Berlinale Panorama this year and opens on 97 screens through Diaphana.
The efforts of Ex Nihilo’s Patrick Sobelman must be praised, as the producer succeeded in making the film on a €3.29m budget without any television backing. Instead, the producer opted for a co-production with Rhône-Alpes Cinéma, CNC advances on receipts and pre-sales from Canal + and Ciné Cinéma.
European cinema is also on show this Wednesday, with 20th Century Fox’s release of Danny Boyle’s UK science fiction Sunshine [trailer, film focus] (see Focus) on 339 screens, while Les Films du Paradoxe is releasing 30 prints of Portuguese master Manoel de Oliveira’s Belle toujours [trailer] (see article), a joint French(44%)/Portuguese (56%) production with CNC advances on receipts.
Meanwhile, Paramount Pictures France is releasing 303 prints of Goodbye Bafana [trailer] by Danish director Bille August, a co-production screened in competition at the 2007 Berlinale and involving six countries, including five European partners: France (20%), Germany (25%), South Africa (20%), Italy (15%), Belgium (10%) and the UK (10%).
(Translated from French)