In a recent New York Times essay, Manohla Dargis said that IFC Films “continues to skim the cream of Cannes” with its acquisitions of the films “Carlos” and “Certified Copy.” On Friday, IFC made another deal for a highly-regarded Cannes entry, picking up U.S. rights to French director Bertrand Tavernier’s “The Princess of Montpensier.”
A drama about a young woman dealing with a marriage of convenience amidst religious conflicts in the 16th century, the film stars Melanie Thierry and Lambert Wilson. “We see many, many films,” said IFC president Jonathan Sehring in a statement, “but it has been a long time since we have seen a period costume drama that is as beautifully crafted as Bertrand Tavernier’s ‘The Princess of Montpensier.’”
In the Hollywood Reporter, Kirk Honeycutt essentially agreed, calling the film “one of the finest costume dramas in a long while” and “a vivid depiction of love and war in 16th century France.”
Sasha Stone of Awards Daily, meanwhile, reported mild booing at a press screening, and called the film “a limp romance novel at best.”
Tavernier was named Best Director at Cannes in 1984 for “Un dimanche a la campagne” (“A Sunday in the Country”), and won a BAFTA award for non-English film for 1990’s “La vie et rien d’autre” (“Life and Nothing But”).
IFC will release the film theatrically and in video-on-demand through its IFC in Theaters platform.