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Annual Top Films Lists

Top 100 Most Anticipated Foreign Films of 2015: #18. Benoit Jacquot’s Journal d’une femme de chambre

Journal d’une femme de chambre

Director: Benoit Jacquot // Writers: Benoit Jacquot, Helene Zimmer

French auteur Benoit Jacquot tends to get overlooked, though his recent international success with Berlin premiered Farewell, My Queen (2012) seems to have boosted his status, even though he’s been making excellent films since the 1970s and used to serve as Assistant Director to Margeurite Duras (India Song; Nathalie Granger). He’s worked several times with Isabelle Huppert (The School of Flesh; Keep It Quiet; False Servant; Villa Amalia) and Isild Le Besco (A Tout de Suite; Deep in the Woods), and generally tends to favor female perspectives. His latest, 3 Hearts, competed in Venice and starred Catherine Deneuve, Charlotte Gainsbourg, and Chiara Mastroianni. We’re thrilled to see he’s following in the footsteps of Jean Renoir and Luis Bunuel with an update of Octave Mirabeau’s Diary of a Chambermaid, reuniting him with the exciting Lea Seydoux, who starred in Farewell, My Queen. Initially set to star Marion Cotillard, Lea Seydoux seems a more appropriate choice to resurrect a role mastered previously by Jeanne Moreau in this strange tale about a scheming servant works for a wealthy couple in France during the late 19th century.

Cast: Lea Seydoux, Vincent Lindon, Clotilde Mollet

Production Co.: JPG Productions, Les Films du Fleuve, Les Films du Lendemain

U.S. Distributor: Rights Available.

Release Date: Jacquot tends to favor Venice, where he’s competed four times, but it’s rumored that the film is set for domestic release this spring, so we’d hope he could hold off for a slot at Cannes, where he last played in 1998 with The School of Flesh, but there’s a strong possibility he won’t.

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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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