The director has previously been selected four times to compete at Cannes (notably in 2010 with his last film The Princess of Montpensier), six times for Berlin, and once for Venice. Quai d'Orsay is to feature Thierry Lhermitte (soon out in Miserere and who has not starred in a film that is not a comedy since A Private Affair in 2002), newcomer Raphael Personnaz (nominated for a 2011 Cesar for most promising actor and out in cinemas on December 5 in Three Worlds), Niels Arestrup (A Prophet, Our Children), Anaïs Demoustier (Elles and who was just on the set of Pascale Ferran's Bird People), Julie Gayet, Thierry Frémont, Sonia Rolland, and Bruno Raffaelli.
Written by Christophe Blain, Abel Lanzac, and Bertrand Tavernier based on the comic book by the former two, the screenplay is centred on Alexandre Taillard de Vorms (a character very much inspired by former French prime minister Dominique de Villepin), a tall, magnificent man full of panache whom women like and who also just happens to be France's foreign minister. Arthur Vlaminck, a young ENA graduate is taken on to handle "language" at the ministry of foreign affairs. Basically, he has to write the minister's speeches! But he still has to learn how to deal with the prince's susceptibility and his entourage, and find a place for himself between the director of the cabinet and the advisors who gravitate in a Quai d'Orsay where stress, ambition, and dirty tricks are common... Whereas he sees the world's destiny, Arthur is threatened by the inertia of technocrats.
Produced by Little Bear, Quai d'Orsay is to be co-produced by Pathé (to handle the film's distribution in France as well as its international sales) and France 2 Cinéma, and has been pre-acquired by Canal+. Shooting is set to take place mostly in Paris, with short stints in New York (two days), Berlin (one day), and Dakar (one day).
Translated from French
Read more exclusive contents on cineuropa.org.