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The Cannes Film Festival is looking to end on a light note, with French spy spoof OSS 117: From Africa With Love to close the 74th Film Festival on July 17.
Jean Dujardin, Nicolas Bedos and Pierre Niney star in OSS 117, which is directed by Nicholas Bedos, whose crowdpleaser La Belle Époque premiered in Cannes 2019.
The film is the third installment in the popular OSS franchise, a Gallic twist on James Bond by way of Pink Panther.
Oscar-winner Jean Dujardin (The Artist) stars as Hubert Bonisseur de La Bath, alias OSS 117, a French spy with an over-the-top libido and self-regard. Fatou N’Diaye, Natacha Lindinger and the late Wladimir Yordanoff co-star. The latest feature sees our hero fighting the Soviets in a Cold War-era African nation.
By picking a mainstream film to close the festival, in a slot Cannes has rebranded the “final screening,” the French festival said it wanted to draw inspiration “from huge evening galas” of previous Cannes festival closers, including Steven Spielberg’s E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (in 1982) and Ridley Scott’s Thelma and Louise (1991).
French distributors Gaumont initially planned to release OSS 117: From Africa With Love in France in February but the bow was postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic. The movie will now go out locally on August 4. With cinemas re-opened and box office surging in France, Gaumont is hoping the Cannes bow will give a boost to the title.
Cannes, like most major film festivals, was forced to cancel last year amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The 2021 event was pushed back from its original May dates.
Annette, a musical starring Adam Driver and Marion Cotillard from French director Leos Carax, based on a story and music by L.A. band Sparks, will open the 74th Cannes Film Festival on July 6.
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