‘The Five Devils’ Trailer: Adèle Exarchopoulos Casts a Spell in Witchy Queer Love Story

Exclusive: Léa Mysius co-wrote and directed the mystical love story, which debuted at 2022 Cannes and opens from Mubi this May.
"The Five Devils"
"The Five Devils"

The Five Devils” conjures the magic of childhood, forbidden first love, and the intangible mystery of death.

Directed by Léa Mysius (“Ava”), who co-wrote the film along with cinematographer Paul Guilhaume, “The Five Devils” cast a spell after premiering at 2022 Cannes as part of Directors’ Fortnight. The feature went on to win Best Picture – Next Wave at Fantastic Fest and is distributed by MUBI.

Newcomer Sally Dramé leads the feature as Vicky, a strange and solitary little girl, who has a magical gift: she can reproduce any scent she likes, and collects them in a series of carefully labeled jars. She has secretly captured the scent of her mother Joanne (Adèle Exarchopoulos), for whom she nurtures a wild, excessive love. When her aunt Julia (Swala Emati) bursts into their life, Vicky reproduces her smell and is transported into dark and archaic memories which lead her to uncover the secrets of her village, her family, and her own existence. Per an official synopsis, once Vicky captures Julia’s scent, she begins to experience traumatic memories that aren’t her own.

Moustapha Mbengue and Daphné Patakia also star.

Writer-director Mysius told IndieWire that it was “love at first sight” when she cast young actress Dramé.

“She had her big eyes and her smile and she was just my Vicky,” Mysius said of discovering her talent. “I also liked in her this funny, burlesque side but she had no experience in acting; the reason I chose her was for her face, her expressions, and for what she is able to express through her body, but she didn’t know how to act. She’s very serious, and dedicated, so we started working on her voice and her body movements and training her voice. It was on set that she revealed her true ability.”

Mysius added that the intimate sensory experience between mother and daughter onscreen is symbolic of the message behind “The Five Devils,” which is “trying to fill what’s invisible, which is of course the opposite of visibility in filmmaking. But invisibility is connected with memories and also with dreams, and I liked the fact that as soon as you put a label onto that, there is a sense of something that is tangible and concrete.”

IndieWire’s review for the feature applauded “Blue Is the Warmest Color” alum Exarchopoulos for putting “her body into everything she does” for the sake of solidifying the dichotomy between her character Joanne’s soulful desires and physical restraint. “Even if she doesn’t feel alive, the film seems to say, she looks it,” the review reads.

“The Five Devils” premieres March 24 in theaters and will be streaming on MUBI May 12.

Check out the trailer, an IndieWire exclusive, below.

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