Say bonjour to Azazel Jacobs’ adaptation of Patrick deWitt’s “tragedy of manners,” out Feb. 12.
“Do you know what a cliché is?” Michelle Pfeiffer asks in the trailer for French Exit. “It’s a story so fine that it’s grown old in its hopeful retelling.”
Pfeiffer stars in Azazel Jacobs’ darkly witty comedy as Frances Price, a widowed socialite who, after going broke, escapes New York City to finish out her days in Paris in the high style of a well-worn cliché — though the film itself is anything but. An adaptation of Patrick deWitt’s 2018 novel, billed as a “tragedy of manners,” Jacobs’ surreal Exit opens Feb. 12 (EW can exclusively reveal the first trailer, above) and sees Pfeiffer in a weird and wonderful role brilliantly suited to her, positioning the legendary actress as a possible contender in this year’s Best Actress race.
“I really loved this character,” Pfeiffer tells EW. “I loved the book so much, and I couldn’t put it down. I was so entertained, and I found [these characters] very moving and quirky.” The film costars Lucas Hedges as Frances’ ineffectual adult son, Malcolm, as well as Danielle Macdonald as a psychic medium and Valerie Mahaffey as a fellow American expat, with whom Frances and Malcolm form a sort of mismatched community à Paris. “I think it explores relationships and deep friendships and [how] people can lead such different lives but still be incredibly connected,” Pfeiffer says. “I think life is all of those things.”
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French Exit premiered in October as part of the New York Film Festival, where critics were mixed on the movie but in agreement on Pfeiffer’s dazzling turn at its center — a markedly different tone than her other recent releases.
“It was actually a very, very busy year for me,” the actress says of 2019, in which her enormous Disney titles Avengers: Endgame and Maleficent: Mistress of Evil both came out. “Honestly, [shooting] came at the end of the year and I wasn’t sure if I was going to have enough stamina left. I was so happy that I did, because when you have a great experience on something and you’re working with people who really inspire you and on material that really inspires you, it actually recharges you. So I feel really lucky.”
Video courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics.
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