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RELEASES Belgium

Coninx’s Sister Smile hits screens

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This week sees the return of Stijn Coninx with his highly-anticipated Belgian biopic Sister Smile [+see also:
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Firstly, there is little chance that the film will enable Coninx to win back the crown for best-performing Belgian title, currently held by Erik Van Looy’s Loft [+see also:
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. The story of a rock star in a nun’s cornet, even that of Sister Dominique and her worldwide hit, will have difficulty competing for young audiences, compared with the tribulations of a quintet of forty-something adulterers in Antwerp, especially as the press is not exactly bursting with enthusiasm. However, the Flemish director had the brilliant idea of casting a Francophone actress, Cécile de France, who plays this unconventional character with her usual skill.

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This double combination could unite Belgian viewers, for distributor Kinepolis is releasing the film on a large print run in both Flemish and French-speaking territories, which is a rare occurrence. Moreover, Sister Smile showcases a host of Belgian actors little known to mainstream audiences abroad, including Flemish superstar Jan Decleir, male performers Johan Leysen and Chris Lomme, and actresses Sandrine Blancke, Christelle Cornil and Marie Kremer.

The film was produced by Belgium’s Les Films de la Passerelle and Eyeworks, with backing from the French Community of Belgium Film Centre, the Vlaams Audiovisual Fund, Wallimage and the Tax Shelter fund. The feature was co-produced by France’s Paradis Film and Pathé.

This week’s other European releases include Souad El Bouhati’s Française [+see also:
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(“Frenchwoman”), starring a dazzling Hafsia Herzi; Baltasan Kormàkur’s Icelandic thriller Jar City [+see also:
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, which enjoyed success at home and at festivals; and Zabou Breitman’s French film Someone I Loved [+see also:
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, adapted from Anna Gavalda’s best-seller.

Finally, UPI is launching UK director Richard Curtis’ impressive comedy, The Boat That Rocked [+see also:
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. The film’s testosterone-filled cast promises to have viewers doubled over with laughter: Rhys Ifans, Bill Nighy and Kenneth Branagh star alongside US duo Jason Lee and Philip Seymour Hoffman.

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(Translated from French)

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