De Grandes espérances
North American Premiere | France | 2023 | Thriller, Drama | 105 min | In French with English subtitles
Directed by: Sylvain Desclous
Written by: Sylvain Desclous, Pierre Erwan Guillaume, Olivier Lorelle, Raphaël Chevènement
Produced by: Florence Borelly (Sésame Films)
Cinematography: Julien Hirsch
Film Editing: Isabelle Poudevigne
Original Score: Florencia Di Concilio
Cast: Rebecca Marder (Madeleine Pastor), Benjamin Lavernhe (Antoine Mandeville), Emmanuelle Bercot (Gabrielle Dervaz), Marc Barbé (Yvan Pastor), Pascal Elso (Bertrand Mandeville), Cédric Appietto (Lucciani)
International Sales: Loco Films
Nuanced performances from an impeccable cast, led by a dazzling Rebecca Marder and Benjamin Lavernhe, propel this taut Hitchcockian thriller forward. A tale of ruthless ambition, cowardice, secrets and lies, betrayal, and basic survival instincts, Grand Expectations follows the character of Madeleine, a low-born yet brilliant political science student with lofty ideals. She and her patrician paramour, Antoine, seem certain to be accepted into ENA, the most prestigious of institutions, where the cream of the crop of French political leaders are educated. However, on the very threshold into that upper echelon of civil servants, an unexpected tragedy crosses their paths, thwarting their now-intertwined destinies.
After studying political science, modern literature and law, Sylvain Desclous turned to writing and directing short films in 2005. Among them, his short Le Monde à l’envers (2012) garnered numerous festival prizes, and Mon héros (2015) was nominated for a César Award for Best Short Film and won the Audience Award at the Brussels International Film Festival. His first feature film, Vendeur (2016), was followed by three documentaries, La Peau dure (2018), Valentina à l’Est (2021) and La Campagne de France (2022). Grand Expectations opened at the Angoulême French Film Festival last year, and Marc Barbé was honored with the Best Supporting Actor Award at the French Festival Jean-Carmet.