Claude Lelouch, the Oscar-winning director of “A Man and a Woman,” is getting ready to direct “Finalement…,” his next film which he says will be a sort of sequel to his BAFTA-nominated film “Happy New Year” and “L’aventure, l’aventure.” The lighthearted movie will reteam Lelouch with Metropolitan FilmExport which is co-producing with Lelouch’s banner Les Films 13, and will distribute in France.
Scored by popular French singer Ibrahim Maalouf, “Finalement…” will boast a large ensemble cast of French stars, including Kad Merad (“Baron Noir”), Elsa Zylberstein (“Simone”), Sandrine Bonnaire, Raphael Mezrahi, Michel Boujenah and Barbara Pravi.
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Merad will play a powerful lawyer who sees his life take an unexpected turn after a health issue removes his ability to lie and forces him to speak without any filter. Merad’s character embarks on a road trip across France, from Paris to the Normandie, to the Mont St Michel, Avignon and the Mans during the cycling race Les 24 du Mans. Throughout his journey, he falls in love with another woman than his wife (played by Zilberstein) and pursues his true passion, playing trumpet.
Lelouch said the character played by Merad was inspired by “brilliant attorneys” such as Robert Badinter and Eric Dupont-Moretti.
“This film is going to mix different genre. I like to say that I work with a funny screenwriter whose name is life so the film will be the result of all these observations that I’ve made since I was born,” said Lelouch during an interview at the Carlton Hotel. “I’ve met all the characters in my films and I’ve heard all the dialogue too. I’m like a reporter of life. As such, ‘Finalement…’ will be about love, friendship, health, family and money,” Lelouch said, arguing that the “pandemic has profoundly changed the way people envision their lives and place a larger emphasis on what’s meaningful, rather than superficial matters.”
As in Lelouch’s other movies, music will play an important role in “Finalement…” On top of Maalouf, who just recorded the score with “an immense orchestra,” the film will also have four songs by Didier Barbelivien.
Lellouch teased that “Finalement…” might be his last film, or at last one of his last.” Along with the ensemble cast, many of Lelouch’s friends will be part of “Finalement…” as extras.
“Happy New Year, which starred Lino Ventura, Charles Gerand and Francoise Fabian, followed a gangster and his accomplice who plot a heist. The movie won two prizes at San Sebastian Film Festival for Ventura and Fabian.
Besides “Happy New Year,” the revered director is best known from international audiences for his 1966 romantic drama “A Man and a Woman” which won two as well as two Oscars, for best international film and best original screenplay, as well as “Live for Life” (1967), “Love Is a Funny Thing” (1969), “Bolero” (1981), “Itinerary of a Spoilt Child” (1988) and “Les Misérables” (1995).
In other related news, Lelouch’s library of films has been acquired by Studiocanal from Metropolitan Filmexport. Under the pact, Studiocanal will handle the sale of SVOD and FOD/ADVOD rights to Lelouch’s previous films in France.
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