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PRODUCTION Netherlands / Luxembourg

Reijn, Caels play beauty and beast in Sombogaart’s Isabelle

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Reijn, Caels play beauty and beast in Sombogaart’s Isabelle

Coming off the large historical frescoes Bride Flight [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Ben Sombogaart
interview: Hanneke Niens
film profile
]
, Crusade in Jeans [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
and The Storm [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
, Dutch director Ben Sombogaart turns his attention to a small but no doubt intense two-hander: Isabelle, which started filming last week.

The project is again a Dutch-Luxembourg co-production that involves Sombogaart’s regular producers IDTV Film in the Netherlands, Samsa Film in the Grand Duchy and Dutch broadcaster NCRV.

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Based on the eponymous novel by Tessa de Loo, whose Twin Sisters Sombogaart adapted into an Oscar-nominated film, Isabelle tells the story of glamorous movie star Isabelle Amable, who is kidnapped and starved by the ugly artist Jeanne Bitor. The adaptation was written by regular Sombogaart collaborator Marieke van der Pol.

The psychological and claustrophobic cat-and-mouse game between beauty and ugliness was earlier adapted as a medium-length graduation film by director Tim Oliehoek (Too Fat, Too Furious, Spy of Orange [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
).

Halina Reijn stars in the title role in Sombogaart’s version. An accomplished theatre and film actress, she is most famous abroad for being the “other Dutch actress” alongside Carice van Houten in both Black Book [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
and Valkyrie.

Reijn’s most recent theatre outing, the one-woman play La Voix humaine by Jean Cocteau, earned her strong reviews. In Isabelle, she will be playing opposite Flemish TV actress Tineke Caels, who will play Jeanne.

Flemish actors Wim Opbrouck, Michel Van Dousselaere and Barbara Sarafian complete the cast.

Filming continues through Friday, when a three-week pause will allow Reijn to lose weight before shooting resumes again on location in Luxembourg on July 12.

A-Film will release the film domestically in 2011.

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