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PRODUCTION / FUNDING France

Arnaud Desplechin lifts the veil on Deception

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- Léa Seydoux and Denis Podalydès lead the cast of the filmmaker’s new title, an adaptation of Philip Roth’s novel produced by Why Not, which has now entered the editing phase

Arnaud Desplechin lifts the veil on Deception
Director Arnaud Desplechin (© Shanna Besson/Why Not Productions)

Shot in the utmost secrecy in September, Arnaud Desplechin’s 11th fiction feature film, Deception, is still undergoing editing, but the director has nonetheless revealed a few details in the French daily Libération about this adaptation of the American writer Philip Roth’s novel of the same name (published in 1990), a work which Desplechin had clearly been planning to bring to the big screen for a very long time, given that the project (which he has now totally revised) already featured among the Cinemart selection back in 2007.

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Shining bright at the head of the cast are Léa Seydoux (Cannes’ Palme d’Or winner in 2013 for Blue is the Warmest Colour [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Abdellatif Kechiche
film profile
]
, which also won her a second nomination for the Best Actress César after the credit she’d previously received for Farewell My Queen [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Benoît Jacquot
film profile
]
in 2013; touring cinemas next year in Wes Anderson’s The French Dispatch [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, Ildiko Enyedi’s The Story of My Wife and Bruno Dumont’s France, and on set next year to film Un beau matin by Mia Hansen-Løve) alongside Denis Podalydès (nominated for the 2012 Best Actor César courtesy of The Conquest [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
and for the Best Supporting Role trophy in 2019 thanks to Sorry Angel [+see also:
film review
trailer
Q&A: Christophe Honoré
film profile
]
; well-received in this year’s Delete History [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
and touring French cinemas from 13 January in French Tech [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, as well as in Les amours d’Anaïs and Oranges sanguines later on that year). Likewise in on the act are Emmanuelle Devos (the winner of the 2002 Best Actress César, earning further nominations in 2005 and 2018, and at her best this year in Perfumes [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Grégory Magne
film profile
]
) and Gennadi Famin (seen in Persian Lessons [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
).

"During lockdown, whilst writing a script which would require wide distribution, extras, a complex schedule and lots of locations, a really old project which I’d left up in the air because I’d never worked out how I could do it, or convey its style, suddenly came back to me", explains Arnaud Deplechin in Libération. "Its modesty resonated with the circumstances imposed. Its characters were confined in their solitude, just like I was (…) Assisted by my co-screenwriter Julie Peyr [Editor’s note: nominated alongside the filmmaker for the 2014 Best Adaptation César and for the 2016 Best Original Screenplay trophy], I went through that old script from A to Z. As we wrote, it was as if a carpet were rolling out before us: our two heroes were trapped in the writer’s study, in the same way that we were confined by lockdown, and we found solutions for every problem we faced (…) Deception takes place in a time which now seems idyllic, before the Twin Towers collapsed and before the fall of the Berlin Wall, and it features refugees, notably women from the East." For the record, the novel is composed of a succession of conversations between Philip, an American novelist based in London for a time, and various women: his mistress, his wife and other less real and sometimes even dreamed female characters.

To date, Arnaud Desplechin has competed six times in Cannes (La Sentinelle in 1992, My Sex Life… Or How I Got Into An Argument in 1996, Esther Kahn in 2000, A Christmas Tale [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
in 2008, Jimmy P. – Psychotherapy Of A Plains Indian [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Arnaud Desplechin
film profile
]
in 2013 and Oh Mercy! [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Arnaud Desplechin
film profile
]
in 2019) and once in Venice (in 2004 with Kings and Queen [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
). My Golden Days [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
and Ismael’s Ghosts [+see also:
film review
trailer
Q&A: Arnaud Desplechin
film profile
]
were also unveiled on the Croisette, in 2015 (within the Directors’ Fortnight line-up) and in 2017 (opening the festival Out of Competition) respectively.

Produced by Pascal Caucheteux on behalf of Why Not Productions, Deception sees Desplechin working with director of photography Yorick Le Saux for the very first time (nominated for the 2015 César in his field for Clouds of Sils Maria [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Charles Gillibert
interview: Olivier Assayas
film profile
]
), with the film set for distribution in France by Le Pacte.

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(Translated from French)

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