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Annual Top Films Lists

Top 100 Most Anticipated Foreign Films of 2017: #18. Roman Polanski’s Based on a True Story

Based on a True Story

Director: Roman Polanski
Writer: Olivier Assayas, Roman Polanski

After some more court related issues seemingly delayed his long gestating project The Dreyfus Affair, Roman Polanski has commenced filming a much smaller but arguably more intriguing production, Based on a True Story, with Olivier Assayas (who was a notable screenwriter for Andre Techine before branching out as an auteur himself) adapting from a novel by Delphine de Vigan (who penned the script for the 2011 film You Will Be My Son, featuring a nasty little performance from Niels Arestrup). Once more pairing Polanski with his wife Emmanuelle Seigner (who toplined his last film with a career best performance in Venus in Fur, 2013), Polanski casts none other than art-house cinema’s most notable neurotic cypher Eva Green. The plot involves two women engaged in Hitchcockian style identity takeover. A novelist becomes uncomfortable with overnight fame following the success of her latest publication, which brings her into the orbit of a ghost-writing biographer. Insidious manipulation ensues. If we were to guess, Eva Green would logically be the hostile frenemy, while Seigner previously played a stalked celebrity in Emmanuelle Bercot’s 2005 film Backstage (2005).

Cast: Eva Green, Emmanuelle Seigner, Vincent Perez

Production Co./Producer(s): WY Productions (Wassim Beji).

U.S. Distributor: Rights available.

Release Date: Polanski nabbed the Palme d’Or in 2002 for The Pianist, and also competed in 1976 with The Tenant and 2013 with Venus in Fur. He’s been awarded several times in Berlin (winning top honors in 1966 for Cul-De-Sac, while he won secondary awards twice in Venice—the FIPRESCI for 1962’s Knife in the Water and the Little Golden Lion for 2011’s Carnage). Filming began in mid-November 2016, so Cannes or Venice seems logical depending on how long Polanski plans on post-production.

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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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