Music Box Films has acquired all US rights to Cesar nominee “Augustine,” the debut feature by French writer-director Alice Winocour. The film stars Vincent Lindon, Soko and Chiara Mastroianni, and centers on the real-case story of the unusual relationship between 19th-century neurologist Jean-Martin Charcot and his star teenage patient. Trailer and synopsis below.
The film premiered at Cannes 2012 Critics Week, and made its North American premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival. It has been nominated for both Best First Film and Best Costumes at the 2013 Cesars (the French equivalent to the Oscar).
Music Box is planning a Spring 2013 release.
After suffering an inexplicable seizure which leaves her paralyzed on her right side,19-year-old illiterate kitchen maid Augustine (27 year-old singer-turned-actress Soko in a break out performance), is shipped off to Paris’ all female psychiatric hospital Pitié-Salpêtriere which specializes in detecting the then-fashionable ailment of ‘hysteria’. Augustine captures the attention of Dr. Charcot (Vincent Lindon, Mademoiselle Chambon, Welcome) after a seizure which appears to give her intense physical pleasure. Intrigued, he begins using her as his principal subject hypnotizing her in front of fellow doctors – as she displays her spectacular fits in lecture halls – and eventually blurring the lines between doctor and patient.