Catherine Deneuve, Chiara Mastroianni, Ludivine Seigner, Louis Garrel, Milos Forman and Paul Schneider star in Les Bien-Aimés.

Early in the AFM, Celluloid Dreams has confirmed that it is to handle sales on Les Bien-Aimés, the new all-star Jacques Demy-style musical drama by Christophe Honoré.

This marks a new collaboration between Celluloid Dreams and Why Not Productions (following on from their highly successful partnership on Jacques Audiard’s The Prophet.)

Catherine Deneuve, Chiara Mastroianni, Ludivine Seigner, Louis Garrel, Milos Forman and Paul Schneider are all aboard the $10m project, which started principal photography on Oct 18 on locations in Paris, London, Prague and Montreal. Le Pacte has French rights.

Pascal Caucheteux is producing. The film features a mother and a daughter, both unable to contemplate a life of loneliness. The film begins during what is arguably the Golden Age of love: the ’60s, with the sexual revolution and women’s lib. The second part of the story gives the
other side of the coin, the hangover that comes after the feast: the ’90s, with AIDS, with the fear of commitment.

The songs are all by Alex Beaupain, Honore’s longtime friend and composer of the music of all his films.

“In my first feature-length film, I built a sequence around one song, Lola by Jacques Demy. It was a gratuitous sequence, inessential to the plot. It was my own self-indulgence as a movie-fan, something that allowed me to pay homage to Jacques Demy, the film-maker I have to
thank for introducing me to cinema,” Honoré said of the influence of Demy on the project. “I have since filmed Les Chansons d’amour, in which I tried to find my own way of articulating a fiction around a series of songs. I love the spirit of musical comedy: no one ever complains, no one ever whines, there is always the possibility that a lyrical moment will come to redeem an everyday tragedy.

“Four years have passed and again I want to apply a musical form to an emotion-rich canvas, to a story that takes place over half a century. Again, I want to indulge in light-handed lyricism, as I follow these characters who, immune to nostalgia, draw their energy from action and who
live for the moment. Their songs will offer them moments of repose, places of refuge where they can live their intense, fleeting
emotions to the full, without being denied their on-going search for untrammelled weightlessness.”