Icarus Films announced this past week that they will be teaming up with France’s premiere film distribution company, Distrib Films, for the domestic home entertainment release of writer/director Pierre Schoeller’s One Nation, One King.
The DVD release of One Nation, One King will take place on Sept. 3.
With the annual observance of Bastille Day in France right around the corner (July 14), the timing for this announcement is spot-on … Icarus Films has the entire summer to beat the promotional drums prior to its debut.
Schoeller’s film opened at the Venice Film Festival before rolling out theatrically in France, which was the first clue that this is an upscale look at the French Revolution of 1789. The second is the French cast list, which includes five-time César Awards nominee (the French equivalent to the Oscar) Louis Garrel as Robespierre and six-time César Awards nominee Adèle Haenel as one of Robespierre’s staunch “working class” allies, Françoise, with two-time César Awards nominee Olivier Gourmet playing the role of another working-class ally, L'oncle.
The list goes on, but the point is that Schoeller has assembled an impressive French cast to tell his mostly historical tale about the popular uprising against the rule of King Louis XVI (played by Laurent Lafitte — César Awards nominee for Elle and Au Revoir Là-Haut) and his “let them eat cake” wife, Marie-Antoinette (Maëlia Gentil).
The bulk of the film focuses on the internal debates within the National Assembly, with the royal counterparts only surfacing when needed … the film is told primarily from the POV of the lower classes, with a mix of political opportunists willing to take which ever side would benefit them the most.
As to the production values, these too are top-notch, with Julien Hirsch’s cinematography being note worthy (César Awards winner for Lady Chatterley) and César Awards nominations going to Anaïs Romand for Best Costume Design and Thierry François for Best Production Design.
A must-see for history buffs and for those who enjoy a well-told story (regardless of the language), especially in the irony of many of the story points — women at the forefront, but even in the National Assembly they must remain mute.
One Nation, One King arrives in the United States virtually unseen by domestic audiences, so this is quite the coup for Icarus Films.
The film is in French, bien sûr, with English subtitles.