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Annual Top Films Lists

Top 100 Most Anticipated Foreign Films of 2016: #29. Christophe Honore’s Les Malheurs de Sophie

Les Malheurs de Sophie

Director: Christophe Honoré
Writers: Christophe Honoré, Gilles Tourand

One of France’s most underrated directors (at least judging on the level of attention he receives overseas) is Christophe Honoré, who is perhaps best known for his 2007 film, Love Songs, which played in the Main Competition at Cannes. A unique and utterly charming musical, Honore followed up his collaboration with Alex Beaupain with less success for 2011’s Beloved, which closed the Cannes Film Festival. Usually casting either Louis Garrell, Chiara Mastroianni or both in nearly all his features, his latest, Metamorphoses (2014), an adaptation of the famed text by Greek poet Ovid, premiered at Venice Days with little fanfare. Honore’s also responsible for the provocative George Bataille adaptation, Ma Mere (2004) which features an infamous performance from Isabelle Huppert. His tenth feature film, Les Malheurs de Sophie (Sophie’s Woes), is loosely based on a famed children’s novel by the Countess of Segur, with a screenplay co-written by Gilles Taurand, who has worked on some of Andre Techine’s most famed titles (Wild Reeds; Thieves) as well as Benoit Jacquot’s Farewell, My Queen (2012) and Ursula Meier’s Sister. A cast headlined by Iranian actress Golshifteh Farahani and rising French star Anaïs Demoustier is also of exciting note.

Cast: Golshifteh Farahani, Anaïs Demoustier and Murielle Robin

Production Co.: Les Films Pelleas

U.S. Distributor: Rights Available. TBD (domestic) TBD (international).

Release Date: We had initially hoped to see Honore ready by the last quarter of 2015, but it appears we were a bit anxious. The timing seems right for Cannes (where he last competed in 2007), but depending on what kind of slot Honore may be offered we could see him holding out for Venice, too.

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), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS) and GALECA. His top 3 for 2021: France (Bruno Dumont), Passing (Rebecca Hall) and Nightmare Alley (Guillermo Del Toro). He was a jury member at the 2019 Cleveland International Film Festival.

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