Michelle Pfeiffer has been Oscar nominated three times (“Dangerous Liaisons,” “The Fabulous Baker Boys,” “Love Field”), and a fourth nom could follow in 2021 thanks to her well-reviewed leading turn in Azazel Jacobs’ “French Exit.” Adapted by Patrick deWitt from his own novel of the same name, the dark comedy casts Pfeiffer as a penniless widow who moves to Paris with her son (Lucas Hedges) and cat, who may or may not be her reincarnated husband. The supporting cast includes Valerie Mahaffey, Imogen Poots, and Danielle Macdonald.
In his review out of the New York Film Festival, IndieWire senior film critic David Ehrlich wrote, “‘French Exit’ is never in a hurry to get anywhere, but Pfeiffer’s lush and crumbling turn always gives it a sense of direction. Her Frances is like an old bird of paradise who’s spent its entire life in a mahogany cage, and suddenly has to migrate halfway across the world to die in style. She’s an endangered species of Manhattan socialite — one trapped inside an echo chamber that’s small enough to feel like a coffin — and even the untrained eye could identify her kind from a mile away as she swanned up Central Park West.
“I really loved this character,” Pfeiffer recently told Entertainment Weekly. “I loved the book so much, and I couldn’t put it down. I was so entertained, and I found [these characters] very moving and quirky. I think it explores relationships and deep friendships and [how] people can lead such different lives but still be incredibly connected. “I think life is all of those things.”
“French Exit” world premiered at the New York Film Festival in October, where Oscar buzz for Pfeiffer’s performance ignited. The actress said at the festival making the movie was one of her “top five most wonderful filmmaking experiences.” The project is Jacobs’ first directorial effort after 2017’s “The Lovers” and has the backing of Sony Pictures Classics, which will be campaigning Pfeiffer for Best Actress.
Sony Pictures Classics is set to release “French Exit” in theaters February 12. Watch the trailer for the dark comedy in the video below.