The French films presented at the San Sebastian Film Festival this year were a high-profile bunch. They included not only eventual Golden Shell winner In the house by François Ozon but also Something In The Air by Olivier Assayas and Le Capital by Costa-Gavras.
The latter, which had its world premiere in Toronto, was part of the Official Selection of the festival that takes place every year in the Basque resort town not far from the French border.
Le Capital, as the title suggests, is set in the world of contemporary high finance and follows the adventures of Marc Tourneuil (Gad Elmaleh), who became the right-hand man of a bank director who cleverly steps in when the director has to step back because of health reasons.
Much to the shock of the major shareholders and the sharks also eyeing the important position, Marc reveals himself to have been a wolf in sheep's clothing.
The screenplay, written by the director Jean-Claude Grumberg and Karim Boukercha, suggests that the financial industry is an immoral, dog-eat-dog world, where even someone as smart as Marc can be outsmarted and where all men have their vices, Marc's being his obsession with a famous model (real-life model Liya Kebede) despite being married to someone else.
Though the film's portrayal of the financial world is unfortunately still very topical and a tad obvious, Costa-Gavras throws in enough elements of suspense to keep audiences entertained, as Tourneuil goes up against some formidable opponents, including Gabriel Byrne as a pushy colleague/competitor.
The film was produced by Michèle Ray Gavras for KG Productions, with the backing of France 2 Cinéma. Mars Distribution will release the film in France on November 14. International sales are handled by Elle Driver.
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