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Christophe Honore Sorry Angel.

Annual Top Films Lists

Top 100 Most Anticipated Foreign Films of 2018: #36. Christophe Honoré’s Plaire

Plaire

In the 2000s, French auteur Christophe Honoré was a prominent international figure on the festival circuit. A blazing star by mid-decade with his 2007 masterpiece Love Songs, Honoré’s infectiously endearing characterizations and narrative hybrids led to a number of experimental projects. Switching between genres (which saw him directing legendary French stars Beatrice Dalle in 2002’s 17 Times Cecile Cassard and Isabelle Huppert in the controversial Georges Bataille adaptation Ma Mere in 2004), Honoré’s films most often features one of his two muses—Louis Garrel or Chiara Mastroianni, while he also assisted with career of Romain Duris in items such as Cecile and 2006’s In Paris. In recent years, Honoré’s projects haven’t received as much international acclaim, although his underrated take on Ovid’s Metamorphoses (read review) went to Venice Days in 2014. His latest, Plaire (aka Sorry Angel), features rising French stars Vincent Lacoste and Pierre Deladonchamps (of Guiraudie’s breakout, Stranger by the Lake in 2013) as a hopeful student and a cynical teacher whose resulting bond transforms them.

Mubi & IONCINEMA.com

Release Date/Prediction: Initially, Honoré was a regular at Cannes, landing in Un Certain Regard with his 2002 debut Seventeen Times Cecile Cassard, moving to Directors’ Fortnight with Dans Paris, and then the main comp in 2007 with Love Songs. He was last present in 2011 with Beloved, which had the unfortunate distinction of closing out the festival. With stints at San Sebastian (The Beautiful Person, 2008; Making Plans for Lena, 2009) and competing in Locarno (Man at Bath, 2010) and appearing in the sidebar Venice Days (Metamorphoses, 2014), Honore’s left his mark on many platforms. While 2016’s Sophie’s Misfortunes didn’t compete in the major festival circuit, we’re thinking Plaire might be a return to form for Honoré and perhaps land him a more prominent premiere. With filming completed, production companies Les Filmes Pelleas and Arte France Cinema could potentially maneuver a comp slot in Berlin. Although we’d love to see Honoré get another shot in the Cannes comp, jockeying for a slot could also see him return to a sidebar this year especially considering the noted cast members.

Los Angeles based Nicholas Bell is IONCINEMA.com'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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