La Fille de Monaco
by Sandy Mandelberger, North American Editor
With less than a month to go before the opening of the Toronto Film Festival, a number of European films have been announced for the Gala Premieres and Special Screenings sections of the Festival. These two sections tend to focus on bigger budget films with name actors and directors, most of which already have U.S. distribution in place.
One of the more anticipated European films making its world premiere in Toronto is the latest film from UK director Richard Eyre (Notes On A Scandal). The Other Man is an adaptation of a short story by Bernhard Schlink, which tells the story of Peter (Liam Neeson) who discovers that his wife Lisa (Laura Linney) has been receiving emails and mobile messages from Ralph (Antonio Banderas), a man he never knew existed. His obsession with this unknown rival escalates and, against the advice of his estranged daughter Abigail (Romola Garai), a hurt and vengeful Peter flies to Milan to seek out the mysterious Ralph and the truth about his relationship with Lisa. The Other Man is produced by Rainmark Films in London, with Ealing Studios International handling world wide sales on the title. No U.S. distributor is currently in place, but this is sure to be a hot Toronto title.
La Fille de Monaco, the latest film by French director Anne Fontaine, will have its North American Premiere at the Festival. In this intriguing psychological thriller, a brilliant and neurotic attorney (Fabrice Luchini) goes to Monaco to defend a famous criminal. But instead of focusing on the case, he falls for a beautiful she-devil (Louise Bourgoin), who turns him into a complete wreck. Anne Fontaine was last reprsented in Toronto by her film Nouvelle Chance (2006) and Entres Les Mains (2005).
Another French film making its North American Premiere next month in Toronto is the box office hit I've Loved You So Long (Il y a longtemps que je t'aime) by Philippe Claudel. The film had its world premiere at the Berlin Film Festival. Adapted by Claudel from his novel, I've Loved You So Long is a film about the strength of women, and their capacity to reconstruct themselves and be reborn. For 15years, Juliette (Kristin Scott Thomas) has had no ties with her family who had rejected her. Although life once violently separated them, her younger sister Léa (Elsa Zylberstein) takes Juliette into her home, which she shares with her husband Luc, her father-in-law, and their two daughters. The film was produced by UGC and will be distributed in North America later this Fall by Sony Pictures Classics.