Odd couple in Guiraudie’s rural King of Escape
Featuring Ludovic Berthillot and Shooting Star 2009 Hafsia Herzi (see interview), the film, which centres on the surprising love affair between a 40-something homosexual farm equipment salesman and a brazen teenage girl, has won over French critics with its inventiveness and remarkable originality.
"The gamble of the film lay in making this love story work: a couple we may consider ill-matched at the start, who gradually become better matched," explained Guiraudie, who co-wrote the script with Laurent Lunetta. "An important question runs through the film: Can we escape from ourselves, overcome what we are, what we’ve always been? (…) Date a young girl, be part of a couple, like everyone else. For you can also grow tired of a certain form of marginality."
Produced by Les Films du Worso and co-produced by M141 for €1.74m, The King of Escape received an advance on receipts from the National Film Centre (CNC), funding from the Midi-Pyrénées region and pre-sales from Canal + and Ciné Cinéma.
This Wednesday is dominated by the expected tidal wave of enthusiasm for David Yates’ US/UK co-production Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince [+see also:
film profile], launched by Warner on almost 750 screens.
There has also been an enthusiastic reception from the French press for another UK production: Danish director Nicolas Winding Refn’s Bronson [+see also:
film profile], released by Wild Side Films / Le Pacte on a 71-print run.
European cinema is also represented by Belgian/French co-production No Hard Feelings! by Yves Hanchar (see video interview - distributed by Pyramide on 135 screens); and UK director Stephen Daldry’s US/German co-production The Reader [+see also:
film profile], starring Kate Winslet (Best Actress Oscar 2009 for this role), Ralph Fiennes and Shooting Star David Kross (see interview). Released by SND on 283 screens, the latter film was unveiled out of competition at the latest Berlinale.
Also hitting theatres are three other French productions: Iliana Lolic’s Je Ne Dis Pas Non (“I Don’t Say No”), starring Sylvie Testud, Stefano Accorsi and Laurent Stocker (launched by its producer ADR on 26 screens); Pierre Laffargue’s Black [+see also:
film profile] (produced by Chic Films - released by Zootrope Films on 51 screens); and Jean-François Davy’s Tricheuse [+see also:
film profile] (“Cheater”), starring Hélène de Fougerolles and Zinedine Soualem (Colifilms Diffusion on 99 screens).
(Translated from French)
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