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Chanson Douce – Lucie Borleteau

Annual Top Films Lists

Top 150 Most Anticipated Foreign Films of 2019: #125. Chanson Douce – Lucie Borleteau

Top 150 Most Anticipated Foreign Films of 2019: #125. Chanson Douce – Lucie Borleteau

Chanson Douce

French director Lucie Borleteau heads into sophomore territory with Chanson Douce (translates as Lullaby), an adaptation of the novel by Leila Slimani (known as The Perfect Nanny stateside). Why Not Productions’ Pascal Caucheteaux and Gregoire Sorlat are producing alongside Nathalie Gastaldo Godeau from Pan-Europeenne, with France 3 Cinema serving as co-producer. Cinematographer Alexis Kavyrchine (Cedric Klapisch’s Back to Burgundy, 2017) is lensing a cast which includes Karin Viard, Leila Bekhti and Antoine Reinartz (Robin Campillo’s BPM, 2017). Borleteau’s first feature, 2014’s Fidelio: Alice’s Odyssey (read our review), competed in Locarno, winning Ariane Labed Best Actress, eventually snagging a Cesar nomination for Best First Feature.

Gist: Borleteau adapted Slimani’s novel alongside Jeremie Elkaim (noted actor and husband of Valerie Donzelli), which concerns Myriam, a mother of two who decides to return to work despite her husband’s reservations. After an extensive search for a babysitter, they find Louise, who immediately wins the affections of the children. Soon, however, a co-dependent relationship ensues and eventual tragedy.

Release Date/Prediction: Borleteau started production in May of 2018. Considering the success of her first feature plus producers Caucheteux and Sorlat (who are in the Cannes competitions with projects nearly every year, including 2015 and 2016’s Palme d’Or winners (Dheepan; I, Daniel Blake) we expect to see her sophomore film invited to Cannes, most likely in Un Certain Regard or Directors’ Fortnight. You can catch up with her here in this late 2018 interview. This is pegged with a November release in France.

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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