The Card of Cankarjev dom
A lavish screen adaptation of Balzac's eponymous novel, Lost Illusions is a tale of love, desire, driving literary ambitions and the power of media and money.
19th century France. Lucien is a young unknown poet living in the provincial town of Angouleme. He has great hopes and wants to forge his destiny. He works in the family printing house during the day, writes poems and makes love to an aristocratic patroness of the arts, Louise, in the evenings. He leaves his native province to try his luck in Paris on the arm of his benefactor. Quickly left to fend for himself in this fabulous town, the young man will discover what goes on behind the scenes in this world devoted to the law of profit and pretence.
Balzac’s novel reveals the matrix of the modern world, that moment when an entire civilization was about to surrender to the rule of profit. I wanted to prolong that movement thanks to cinema, taking any liberties with the original text that would allow for expressing its spirit. Xavier Giannoli
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Directed by: Xavier Giannoli
Screenplay: Xavier Giannoli
Cinematography: Christophe Beaucarne
Editing: Cyril Nakache
Cast: Benjamin Voisin (Lucien), Cécile de France (Louise), Vincent Lacoste (Etienne Lousteau), Xavier Dolan (Nathan), Salomé Dewaels (Coralie), Jeanne Balibar (Marquise d'Espard), Gérard Depardieu (Dauriat), André Marcon (baron du Châtelet), Louis-Do de Lencquesaing (Finot), Jean-François Stévenin (Singali)
Festivals, awards (selection): Venice 2021, San Sebastian 2021