Two weeks before the event’s official kickoff, the first big deal of this year’s Cannes Film Festival is already on the books. Deadline reports that Sony Pictures Classics has acquired Ira Sachs’ “Frankie” in advance of the film’s world premiere. The film marks the lauded indie filmmaker’s first appearance on the Croisette, and the family drama will premiere in Competition at the May festival.
Per the film’s official synopsis, it follows “three generations of a European family [who] come together in the fabled town of Sintra, Portugal, for one last vacation before the family matriarch faces the next, and last, chapter of her life. Over the course of one crisp October day, the fairy tale setting brings about everyone’s most romantic impulses, revealing both cracks between them, as well as unexpected depth of feeling.” The film stars Isabelle Huppert in a role already earning awards buzz, along with Brendan Gleeson, Marisa Tomei, Jeremie Renier, and Greg Kinnear.
Sachs wrote the film alongside his frequent collaborator Mauricio Zacharias, and it was produced by Saïd Ben Saïd of SBS Productions and Michel Merkt, co-produced by Luís Urbano, Diana Elbaum, and Anne Berger, and executive produced by Kateryna Merkt, Kevin Chneiweiss, and Lucas Joaquin.
The film marks yet another collaboration between SPC and Sachs, as the previously teamed up with Sachs’ “Married Life” and “Love Is Strange.” The project also reunites the distributor with Huppert, having previously released Paul Verhoeven’s 2016 thriller “Elle,” which starred the beloved actress.
Earlier this year, Huppert told IndieWire that the family drama is “very, very different from anything I’ve done before.” Huppert plays the matriarch of the clan, and while she had only seen a few snippets of the film, she was already elated with the results. “I can tell that it’s very tender,” she said. “Nothing really tragic happens in the film, but the situation itself is tragic, even though we shot in the most beautiful environment.”
“There’s something really honest about my work in this…” she told IndieWire, before correcting herself. “‘Honest’ is not the right word, because I think I’m honest in my other performances, but there’s something very simple about this one because the story speaks for itself. There are none of the usual devices, only a little bit of irony and humor in the way we spoke.”
The 2019 Cannes Film Festival begins May 14 and runs through May 25.