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The full lineup for this year’s Cannes Film Festival hasn’t yet been officially unveiled, but one of the few titles confirmed for the Croisette has already been snapped up, with Mubi acquiring Paul Verhoeven’s much-anticipated Benedetta for the U.K. and Ireland.
The arthouse streaming platform and theatrical distributor says it plans to give the French-language film — telling the story of a lesbian nun and tackling themes of sex, sexuality and religion — a cinematic release.
Benedetta, which was destined for Cannes last year before the event was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, is now set to have it world premiere in the south of France on July 9, adding to a late-career revival for Verhoeven (Basic Instinct, Turkish Delight, Total Recall, RoboCop, Starship Troopers, Showgirls) following 2016’s Elle, which landed Isabelle Huppert a best actress Oscar nomination.
The film stars Virginie Efira as a 17th century nun who suffers from disturbing religious and erotic visions and begins a romantic love affair with another nun. Inspired by the book Immodest Acts, written by historian Judith C Brown, the film also stars Charlotte Rampling (45 Years, Red Sparrow), Daphné Patakia (Nimic), Lambert Wilson (The Matrix Reloaded, Catwoman) and Olivier Rabourdin (Eastern Boys, Of Gods and Men), and was co-written by David Birke, who partnered with Verhoeven on Elle. Benedetta was produced by Said Ben Said at SBS Production, Michel Merkt and Pathé, which is also handling international sales.
Benedetta adds to a growing slate of theatrical releases Mubi has lined up for the U.K. and Ireland, including Ben Sharrock’s twice BAFTA nominated Limbo, Michel Franco’s New Order, Ninja Thyberg’s Sundance hit Pleasure, Céline Sciamma’s latest film Petite Maman and First Cow from Kelly Reichardt, which Mubi holds all rights for internationally (excluding North America and China).
See the teaser trailer for Benedetta below
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