Though Léa Seydoux’s trip to the Cannes Film Festival is now in question after a positive COVID-19 diagnosis, the French actress still has a handful of movies headed to the Croisette this month. Along with “The French Dispatch” from Wes Anderson, “The Story of My Wife” from Ildikó Enyedi, and “On a Half Clear Morning” from Bruno Dumont, the “Blue Is the Warmest Color” Palme d’Or winner also stars in Arnaud Desplechin’s “Deception.” Adapted from Philip Roth’s slim 1990 novel, the film bows in the Cannes Premiere section, and a first trailer in French has arrived. Check it out below.
Desplechin, known for films like “Kings & Queen” and “My Golden Days,” had a tricky adaptation on his hands in bringing a novel built entirely on dialogue between two adulterous lovers to the screen. The original book centers on a married American man named Philip, now an expat in London, carrying on an affair with a married Englishwoman stifled by an unhappy bourgeois marriage and a small child. The majority of the novel unfolds around conversations the pair have before and after sex, with stinging barbs about life, love, and infidelity.
In the film, Seydoux is joined by Denis Podalydès, Emmanuelle Devos, Anouk Grinberg, and Rebecca Marder. Desplechin has been trying to adapt the book for years, telling The Film Stage, “This book fascinates me because it’s just pure dialogue — the most beautiful dialogue I’ve read between a man and a woman. The film, it’s about intimacy — so how are you dealing with a worldwide political issue when the film is dealing with intimacy? So today, I guess, my perspective is that it would be a wonderful thing, but I’m not sure the screen would be the perfect tool. I’m always wondering if it would not be a perfect theater play. I did this production for the stage in France last year. I’m wondering if I could transform it into a show, but onstage rather than onscreen. So I’m still dealing with that.”
Written by Desplechin with his trusted screenwriting collaborator Julie Peyr, “Deception” is still up for grabs in terms of U.S. distribution. It will be released in France by Le Pacte on September 22.