Belgian provocateur Fabrice du Welz returns with Adoration, the third chapter of his celebrated Ardennes trilogy, which follows his 2004 debut Calvaire and 2014’s delicious Alleluia (our interview)—both titles which the director is perhaps best known for in the US. Having taken recent trips abroad, including the troubled French production of 2014’s Colt 45 and du Welz’s English language debut Message from the King (available on Netflix), du Welz at last returns to the isolated hysteria which has marked his past Ardennes installment by reuniting with his Vinyan (2008) star Emmanuelle Beart. Also included in the fantastic cast are French icon Beatrice Dalle, Belgian actors Benoit Poelvoorde and Peter van den Begin (King of the Belgians, 2017), Haneke discovery Fantine Harduin (the troubled child of 2017’s Happy End), Xavier Legrand’s Custody breakout Thomas Gioria, and excitingly, the return of Laurent Lucas, who headlined the two previous Ardennes titles. The film is produced by co-writer Vincent Tavier, Manuel Chiche (executive producer on The Neon Demon, 2016), and Bart Van Langendonck (Bullhead, 2011). And the project marks the reunion of du Welz and the talented DP Manuel Dacosse.
Gist: Co-written by du Welz and Vincent Tavier (of Alleluia and Man Bites Dog fame), Adoration centers on 12 year old Paul, whose mother works as a cleaner for a private hospital in the woods. When schizophrenic teen Gloria (Harduin) arrives, Paul finds himself besotted, and plots to help her escape the hospital no matter the cost to himself.
Release Date/Prediction: Du Welz filmed over Summer 2018 (check out the on-set report), funded by screen.brussels. While Calvaire premiered out of Critics’ Week, Alleluia was programmed in Directors’ Fortnight. The Cannes main competition seems to be adverse to genre, more often than not, but with the film’s French beauty queens in tow, we’d expect to see du Welz unveil on the Croisette, either as his first entry in comp or as a return to Directors’ Fortnight.