Though The Artist star Bérénice Bejo’s last film, the tense drama The Past, inexplicably failed to earn a much-deserved Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Language Film, the actress is still signing on to projects that have us very optimistic about her future on the awards circuit. Most recently, Bejo has agreed to topline an Italy-set psychological thriller called After The Storm, for The Giraffe’s Neck director Safy Nebbou.
The film, based on the novel Belle famille by Arthur Dreyfus, will find Bejo playing a young mother who, after the accidental death of her five-year old son, instinctively hides his body and covers up the death. As the media descends on her and the police launch a massive investigation into the child’s disappearance, the mother slips further into denial and mental instability.
After The Storm is certainly a significant step away from Bejo’s light and sunny performance as Peppy Miller in The Artist, indisputably the work she’s best known for by American audiences. However, Bejo previously proved that she has tremendous abilities as a dramatic actress in The Past, and she definitely seems more naturally drawn to intense dramas like After The Storm. In addition to that project, the actress also has similarly dark films like The Search (which will reteam Bejo with her Artist director/husband Michel Hazanivicius) and Eternity in the pipeline.
Producer Philip Boeffard spoke about the film, saying, “I envision After The Storm as a contemporary tragedy that’s reminiscent of Incendies by Denis Villeneuve in the way it explores visceral emotions and dives very deeply into the characters’ psyche.” He added that, “We’re aiming to make a local film that resonates with international audiences.” He compared the film both to the works of suspense maestro Alfred Hitchock and The Master auteur Paul Thomas Anderson.
After The Storm will also star Laurent Lafitte (On The Other Side Of The Tracks), Gregory Gadebois (The Returned) and Sergio Castellitto (The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian). The film, budgeted at $6 million, is due to start filming soon in either Malta or the South of France.
Tell us, are you intrigued by the twisted plot of Bejo’s latest venture? Or does the subject matter of After The Storm seem too heavy to appeal? Let us know below.