By Peter Knegt | Indiewire May 21, 2010 at 3:10AM
IFC Films announced that it has acquired the U.S. rights from European studio STUDIOCANAL to director Bertrand Tavernier’s “The Princess of Montpensier,” which is screening in competition at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. The film was produced by Eric Heumann and coproduced by STUDIOCANAL, with a screenplay by Jean Cosmos, Francois-Olivier Rousseau and Tavernier, based on the novel by Madame de la Fayette. It stars Melanie Thierry, Lambert Wilson, Gaspard Ulliel, Gregoire Leprince-Ringuet, and Rapahel Personnaz. IFC Films will release the film theatrically and via its IFC in Theaters platform which brings films to theatrical and on-demand viewers.
Set in sixteenth century France, as the wars of religion between Catholics and Protestants rage against a backdrop of intrigue and shifting alliances, "The Princess" is described as "an epic drama and timeless love story that tells the tale of Marie de Mezieres, a beautiful young aristocrat, and Henri de Guise, one of the kingdom's most intrepid heroes."
"We see many, many films but it has been a long time since we have seen a period costume drama that is as beautifully crafted as Bertrand Tavernier's "The Princess of Montpensier," Jonathan Sehring, President of IFC Entertainment said in a statement. "It's perfect on so many levels, and Tavernier is really a master filmmaker. It is always a great pleasure for us to do business with Studio Canal, especially on such a masterwork."
The deal was negotiated by Arianna Bocco, SVP of Acquisitions and Co-Productions for IFC Films, and with Harold Van Lier and Anna Marsh at Studio Canal, on behalf of the filmmakers.
On his Deep Focus blog, Todd McCarthy said of "Princess": "Spirited, robust and intelligent, this is a film that courses with life and its passions, not formality and protocol."