French Exit (2020 film)
|Directed by||Azazel Jacobs|
|Screenplay by||Patrick deWitt|
|Based on||French Exit|
by Patrick deWitt
|Edited by||Hilda Rasula|
|Music by||Nick deWitt|
|Distributed by||Elevation Pictures (Canada)|
Sony Pictures Classics (Worldwide; with Sony Pictures Releasing International and Stage 6 Films outside the United States)
|Box office||$1.6 million|
French Exit is a 2020 black comedy-drama film directed by Azazel Jacobs, based on the novel of the same name by Patrick deWitt, who also wrote the screenplay. It tells the story of a Manhattan heiress (Michelle Pfeiffer) who moves to Paris with her son (Lucas Hedges) with the little money they have left.
The film had its world premiere at the New York Film Festival on October 10, 2020, and was theatrically released in the United States and Canada on February 12, 2021. It received mixed reviews from critics, although Pfeiffer's performance was praised and she was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Comedy or Musical.
The bank seizes all the property of Manhattan heiress Frances Price after her husband's death. The close-to-penniless widow and her son, Malcolm, are left with few options. They sell everything they can and relocate to a small apartment in Paris with the family cat, who happens to be Frances' reincarnated husband.
- Michelle Pfeiffer as Frances Price
- Lucas Hedges as Malcolm Price
- Eddie Holland as young Malcom Price
- Valerie Mahaffey as Mme. Reynard
- Susan Coyne as Joan
- Imogen Poots as Susan
- Danielle Macdonald as Madeleine the medium
- Daniel Di Tomasso as Tom
- Isaach de Bankolé as Julius
- Tracy Letts as Franklin "Small Frank" Price (voice)
It was announced in May 2019 that Michelle Pfeiffer, Lucas Hedges and Tracy Letts were cast in the film, with Azazel Jacobs directing and the novel's author Patrick deWitt writing the screenplay. Danielle Macdonald was cast in October.
Principal photography began in October 2019, with Paris and Montreal as the filming locations.
On August 20, 2020, the studio scheduled the film to be released on February 12, 2021. In February 2021, it was announced the film would begin a limited release in New York City and Los Angeles on February 12, before going wide on April 2.
It was selected to be presented to Berlin Film Festival in the section Berlin Special Titles.
On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, 63% of 153 critic reviews are positive, with an average rating of 6.2/10. The website's critics consensus reads: "The smartly written French Exit offers proof that even the most caustic characters can be made entertaining – and even relatable – through a Michelle Pfeiffer performance." According to Metacritic, which reports a weighted average score of 57 out of 100, based on 30 critics, the film received "mixed or average reviews".
David Ehrlich of IndieWire gave the film a "B–" and wrote: "Jacobs doesn't give us much else to hold on to. For all of its touching moments – and a series of closing grace notes that shimmer with a mystical flair missing from the rest of the film – this gossamer-thin adaptation is hampered by the same ambivalence that's haunted [Pfeiffer's character] Frances for so long."
Pfeiffer received critical acclaim for her performance with many critics dubbing it Oscar-worthy and Variety's Pete Dubruge writing that she delivered a role "for which she'll be remembered."
|Award||Date of ceremony||Category||Recipient||Result||Ref.|
|Satellite Awards||February 15, 2021||Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy||Michelle Pfeiffer||Nominated|||
|Golden Globe Awards||February 28, 2021||Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy||Nominated|||
|Canadian Screen Awards||May 20, 2021||Canadian Screen Award for Best Actress||Won|||
|Independent Spirit Awards||April 22, 2021||Best Supporting Female||Valerie Mahaffey||Nominated|||
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