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Sylvie Verheyde Madame Claude

Annual Top Films Lists

Top 100 Most Anticipated Foreign Films of 2021: #93. Sylvie Verheyde’s Madame Claude

Top 100 Most Anticipated Foreign Films of 2021: #93. Sylvie Verheyde’s Madame Claude

Madame Claude

A Parisian period piece about a 1960s brothel madame wasn’t in the cards for 2020, but Sylvie Verheyde‘s sixth feature Madame Claude will surely set its sights on a 2021 fest. Reuniting with Karole Rocher who previously appeared in Verheyde’s 2012 Confessions of a Child of the Century as well as her 2016 title Sex Doll) as the lead, Verheyde rounds out a supporting cast featuring Roschdy Zem, Garance Marillier, Benjamin Biolay, Pierre Deladonchamps, Josephine de la Baume, plus two more Sex Doll cast members, Hafsia Herzi and Paul Hamy. Produced by Florence Gastaud, the title is notably lensed by Leo Hinstin. Notably, French filmmaker Just Jaekin previously tackled this narrative in 1977 with the project Madame Claude starring Francois Fabian and Klaus Kinski (titled The French Woman in its US release). Verheyde’s most far-reaching title to date has been 2012’s Confessions of a Child of the Century, which featured Peter Doherty and Charlotte Gainsbourg, premiering out of Un Certain Regard at Cannes.

Gist: Co-written by Verheyde and Patrick Rocher, Madame Claude (Karole Rocher) reinvents the codes of prostitution in her thriving brothel of late 1960s Paris. But a world on the verge of transition is assisted by her introduction to Sidonie, (Marillier) who takes the shape of Madame Claude’s alter ego.

Release Date/Prediction: Verheyde wrapped her seven week shoot at the end of June, 2019. Initially, we had assumed this would be a potential Cannes premiere for 2020, but the delay could find her premiering in Cannes 2021 (likely in Un Certain Regard) or potentially in competition at the Berlin IFF.

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), 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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