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PRODUCTION / FUNDING France / Belgium

François Ozon is shooting the mysterious Madeleine

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- Isabelle Huppert, Dany Boon, Fabrice Luchini and Nadia Tereszkiewicz lead the cast of the filmmaker’s new feature, produced by Mandarin and FOZ and sold by Playtime

François Ozon is shooting the mysterious Madeleine
Director François Ozon (© Fabrizio de Gennaro/Cineuropa) and actors Isabelle Huppert (© Georges Biard) and Dany Boon (© Georges Biard)

The final clapperboard is slamming on Madeleine, the 22nd feature film by the prolific and highly secretive François Ozon of which several details were leaked (but are yet to be officially confirmed) on the fringes of the Cannes Film Festival’s Marché du Film where the screenplay was presented to a group of distributors handpicked by international sales agent Playtime. "It’s an Ozon film rumoured to be on a par with 8 Women [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
in terms of its cast and commercial potential, and which also boasts Gaumont as a partner, but I can’t say anything more, or even confirm the film’s title", insisted Nicolas Brigaud-Robert (Playtime) in conversation with Cineuropa.

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Mum’s the word then, for this film which started shooting in April with a cast spearheaded by Isabelle Huppert (who’s linking back up with the director for the first time since 8 Women in 2002), Fabrice Luchini (who tried his hand at film direction in 2012 via In the House [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
), Dany Boon (hugely popular with audiences since Welcome to the Sticks [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
), Nadia Tereszkiewicz (at her very best recently in Cannes in Forever Young [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Valeria Bruni Tedeschi
film profile
]
and whom we’ll be seeing this coming year in Robin Campillo’s Vazaha). André Dussollier (nominated for this year’s Best Actor Lumière by way of Everything Went Fine [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
) should also be in on the act.

Written by François Ozon, the screenplay is being kept under wraps for the time being, but the story is said to unfold in 1935. The project’s previous working title Mon crime hints that the film is an adaptation of the play of the same name by Georges Berr and Louis Verneuil, which begins with the murder of a Parisian banker. The inspector leading the investigation questions all those who approached the victim on the day of the murder. Madeleine, a penniless and unknown woman of letters, is the last to have seen her. She’s innocent, but she nonetheless seizes this opportunity for a bit of publicity and takes responsibility for the crime. After being acquitted, her life is transformed with money and fame. But then the real guilty party turns themselves in, frustrated that someone else is profiting from their crime in this way...

We await the film to confirm or invalidate the above hypothesis, which the director’s taste for secrecy has forced us to devise.

A regular face at all the major festivals, François Ozon has been selected six times in competition in Berlin (in 2000, 2002, 2007, 2009, 2019, and this year via Peter von Kant [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
which will be released in France on 6 July), four times in Cannes (in 2003, 2013, 2017 and last year via Everything Went Fine), three times in Venice (2004, 2010 and 2016) and three times in San Sebastian (in 2009, 2012 and 2014).

Produced by Éric and Nicolas Altmayer on behalf of Mandarin and FOZ (the filmmaker’s own firm), Madeleine is notably co-produced by Belgian outfit Scope Pictures. The feature film is pre-purchased by Canal+ and will be distributed in French cinemas by Gaumont. Filming unfolded in Paris, the Paris region and in Belgium (in Charleroi and Brussels) with Belgium’s Manuel Dacosse heading up photography. International sales are steered by Playtime.

For the record, Mandarin are set to release Michel Leclerc’s Not My Type [+see also:
film review
film profile
]
on 22 June, Ivan Calbérac’s La Dégustation on 31 August (starring Bernard Campan and Isabelle Carré in its cast), Malik Bentalha and Ludovic Colbeau-Justin’s Jack Mimoun et les secrets de Val Verde on 12 October and Alexandre Castagnetti’s L’École est à nous on 26 October, all in French cinemas. The firm also boasts Ziad Doueiri’s series Cœurs noirs in post-production (produced by Amazon Prime Video and France Télévisions).

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