Sunday night at the 76th Cannes Film Festival was all about the world premiere of the Jude Law and Alicia Vikander Henry VIII period pic Firebrand, which received a royal response from the crowd in the Grand Theatre Lumiere with an eight and a half minute standing ovation.
Brazilian-Algerian filmmaker Karim Aïnouz directed the movie off a script by Henrietta Ashworth and Jessica Ashworth. The pic reps Aïnouz’s English language debut and it’s playing in competition.
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Firebrand stars Oscar winner Vikander as Catherine Parr, the final wife of Henry VIII, a feminist force to be reckoned with who outlived the notorious king; the fate of his wives being either divorced, dead or beheaded. She is named Regent with the king warring abroad, and she’s done everything she can to push for a new future based on her radical Protestant beliefs. Law plays a royal on his way out, having returned from fighting with a dire condition on his right leg. Palace intrigue abounds entailing Henry squaring off with the Seymours brothers, one of them having their eye on Catherine, and the king ultimately fading.
Aïnouz’s track record at Cannes includes Invisible Life, which won the Un Certain Regard award at Cannes in 2019, as well as, Mariner Of The Mountains which premiered in Cannes 2021.
FilmNation Entertainment handled international sales. Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions will distribute in Germany, Greece, Iceland, Middle East, Scandinavia, Turkey, all of Asia (excluding Japan), Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. Other territories sold include Switzerland (Elite Film AG), Israel (Lev Cinemas), Spain, Italy and LATAM (Vertice Cine), and UK and Benelux (Black Bear Pictures).
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