Film Movement captures ‘Hearts’
Gallic romantic comedy to get North American release
By JOHN HOPEWELL
New York-based specialty label Film Movement has acquired North American rights to ‘The Queen of Hearts,’ the directorial debut of French thesp-turned-helmer Valerie Donzelli.
Film Movement will give ‘Hearts’ a fourth quarter theatrical opening in New York, a limited national roll-out after that, and a day-and-date cable video-on-demand premiere.
One of a growing breed of arresting young Gallic distaff directors — think Celine Sciamma, Katell Quillevere — Donzelli also wrote ‘Hearts.’
A jaunty, Paris-set romantic comedy, ‘Hearts’ turns on thirtysomething Adele, played by Donzelli, who, dumped by her boyfriend, flings herself at pretty well any man she meets, ignoring Mr. Right.
Jeremie Elkaim plays all three of her lovers. France’s Les Prods. Balthazar produced.
Released February 2010 in Gaul, ‘Hearts’ did only niche local box office, selling 27,744 tix (around $240,000). But, playing Locarno’s Filmmakers of the Present competition, it went on to build a growing fest rep and garner upbeat reviews with slots at the Mumbai, Buenos Aires, Santiago de Chile, Mill Valley and St. Louis fests.
Variety called it ‘an endearingly goofy spin on looking-for-love-in-the-big-city comedies.’
Donzelli has just wowed critics with her second film as a director, ‘Declaration of War,’ again co-starring Elkaim, which opened May’s Cannes Critics’ Week.
The North America deal on ‘Hearts’ was negotiated between Film Movement prexy Adley Gartenstein and VP, acquisitions and distribution Rebeca Conget and Ryan Kampe of Visit Films.
‘Talented French actress Valerie Donzelli has directed herself in an utterly charming and whimsical comedy that is both sexy and touching without ever getting sentimental. We’re delighted to be distributing this promising new director’s feature film debut,’ Gartenstein said.