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Abdellatif Kechiche Pray for Jack

Annual Top Films Lists

Top 100 Most Anticipated Foreign Films of 2018: #14. Abdellatif Kechiche’s Pray for Jack

Pray for Jack

Controversy and contention have followed French-Tunisian director Abdellatif Kechiche ever since winning the Palme d’Or in 2013 for Blue is the Warmest Color (read review). After several failed follow-up projects, 2015 was the beginning of a flurry of proposed film projects such as a biopic on Marilyn Chambers, an adaptation of Abelard and Heloise, TV series adaptation of Tiphaine Rivière’s Carnets de thèse, a road movie called L’Agneau de Dieu, biopic on Marguerite Porete once called Ineffable Amour (aka Sœur Marguerite), it is the adaptation of La Blessure, la vraie (a narrative informed by the novel by Francois Begaudeau, who also wrote Laurent Cantet’s 2008 Palme d’Or winner The Class) that pulled ahead of the pack. Just when it seemed Kechiche would be a contender for Cannes 2017, he announced that his film Mektoub is Mektoub would be broken up into two separate films, the second to be titled Pray for Jack. Legal woes with the producers and Kechiche’s dramatic bid to sell his Palme d’Or to pay for post-production costs kept anticipation high. The first chapter of his latest saga, Mektoub, My Love: Canto Uno (read review) premiered in competition at Venice 2017 and was met with divisive responses, with many critics labeling this sexual coming-of-age for a young boy to be ‘indulgent.’ Look for some of the cast in part one (Shaïn Boumédine, Ophélie Bau, Salim Kechiouche, Lou Luttiau, Alexia Chardard, Hafsia Herzi, Delinda Kechiche, Kamel Saadi, Meleinda Elasfour, Estefania Argelish) to carry over onto part two.

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Release Date/Prediction: Considering Kechiche’s second chapter should be ready to go, we’re assuming Pray for Jack, or whatever title it may eventually be known by, should pop up at Cannes 2018 for his second time in the running for the Palme. Mektoub was Kechiche’s fourth time at Venice (he won a Special Jury Prize and FIPRESCI Prize for The Secret of the Grain in 2007).

Los Angeles based Nicholas Bell is's Chief Film Critic and covers film festivals such as Sundance, Berlin, Cannes and TIFF. He is part of the critic groups on Rotten Tomatoes, The Los Angeles Film Critics Association (LAFCA), FIPRESCI, the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS) and GALECA. His top 3 for 2023: The Beast (Bonello) Poor Things (Lanthimos), Master Gardener (Schrader). He was a jury member at the 2019 Cleveland International Film Festival.

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