Directed Cedric Jimenez shot his crime epic on 35mm to give it the flavor of the gritty William Friedkin classic that won Gene Hackman a Best Actor Oscar for his portrayal of undeterred police detective Popeye Doyle. Here’s the synopsis:
Marseille. 1975. Pierre Michel, a young magistrate with a wife and children, has just been transferred to help in the crackdown on organized crime. He decides to take on the French Connection, a mafia-run operation that exports heroin the world over. Paying heed to no one’s warnings, he leads a one-man campaign against mafia kingpin Gaetan Zampa, the most untouchable godfather of them all.
Based on a true story and known as “La French” overseas, the film ignited a pre-buy bidding war after Gaumont Film Company unveiled eight minutes of promo footage at Cannes this year. Drafthouse Films promptly snapped it up for North American distribution.
A box office hit in France, the film will open stateside May 15. THR calls it “An exciting, epic policier with whiffs of both its American cousin and Scorsese,” just as we hoped.