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Usmonov Offers a ‘Novel’ Idea for Seydoux and Gourmet

In less than five years, Léa Seydoux has worked with the best of auteur cinema and dabbled into a little Hollywood as well. She had a small part in chapter one of QT’s Basterds and Ridley Scott’s Robin Hood, but she has made a name for herself by working with the likes of Christophe Honoré, Bertrand Bonello, Catherine Breillat, in Jessica Hausner’s Lourdes and Raoul Ruiz’s latest film. She’ll next work for a little known filmmaker for North American audiences in director Djamshed Usmonov’s first French-language film.

In less than five years, Léa Seydoux has worked with the best of auteur cinema and dabbled into a little Hollywood as well. She had a small part in chapter one of QT’s Basterds and Ridley Scott’s Robin Hood, but she has made a name for herself by working with the likes of Christophe Honoré, Bertrand Bonello, Catherine Breillat, in Jessica Hausner’s Lourdes and Raoul Ruiz’s latest film. She’ll next work for a little known filmmaker for North American audiences in director Djamshed Usmonov’s first French-language film. Le Roman de Ma Femme will be Usmonov’s fourth film, he has sort of become a mainstay at Cannes (he last presented To Get To Heaven First You Have To Die in 2006) and unless he rushes the post-production phase, will probably miss out in presenting it there.

The production which begins filming in Paris in December has a fairly “French” premise of adultery mixed in with bad paperwork. It sees the disappearance of Michel, who leaves behind his distraught wife, Eve, and enormous debts. Fortunately, she receives support from her friend Chollet (played by Oliver Gourmet), a lawyer like her husband, who pays off the debts and helps her to start enjoying life again. A widower who has lost his only child, he becomes increasingly close to Eve, who makes advances towards him. At first reluctant and worried about his own health, Chollet ends up succumbing to his feelings and falls in love with the young woman. But suspicion falls on him. Did he deliberately cause Michel’s bankruptcy, perhaps even his disappearance, in order to get closer to Eve? She grows fearful and distances herself from him. But passion prevails over her resolutions. Who is manipulating whom? What are the hidden intentions of each?

Elzévir Films’ Marie Masmonteil and Denis Carot will produce (Usmonov’s To Get To Heaven First You Have To Die was produced by Masmonteil). Cineruopa reports that the small budgeted production will shoot for two weeks in Paris and seven weeks in Dordogne. We can expect to see this hit he high profile film fests such as Venice and TIFF.

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Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist, and critic at IONCINEMA.com, established in 2000. A regular at Sundance, Cannes, and Venice, Eric holds a BFA in film studies from the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013, he served on the narrative competition jury at the SXSW Film Festival. He was an associate producer on Mark Jackson’s "This Teacher" (2018 LA Film Festival, 2018 BFI London). In 2022, he was a New Flesh Juror for Best First Feature at the Fantasia International Film Festival. Current top films for 2023 include The Zone of Interest (Glazer), Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell (Pham Thien An), Totem (Lila Avilés), La Chimera (Alice Rohrwacher), All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt (Raven Jackson).

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