The first trailer for director Rebecca Zlotowski’s Planetarium has hit the Internet, and it’s downright beautiful. Starring Natalie Portman and Lily-Rose Depp as sisters who embark on careers in entertainment in pre-war Paris, the film also looks like far more than that.
What we see of Planetarium‘s cinematography is simply stunning, which is helpful since half of this trailer is in French and I haven’t spoken French since high school. But that’s OK. I don’t need to speak the language to be awed by the visuals, or by the evident rapport between Portman and Depp as they attempt to navigate Paris and the entertainment world prior to World War II. There are obvious references to pre-war French cinema and spiritualism, as well as the frightening undercurrent of anti-Semitism that ran through Europe at the time. It all weaves together in a tapestry of light and sound, an evident revelation of the camera eye.
But from what we can see in this first trailer, Planetarium is more about the interior lives of these two women than it is solely about the culture that surrounds them. Each is unique and mesmerizing in their own way, a testament probably to the abilities of the actresses in front of the camera, and the vision of the director behind it.
We should never depend on trailers to tell us the essence of a film, but rarely have I seen a recent trailer that really made me excited for a film’s release. And Planetarium is coming soon: it’s set to premiere in Venice and at TIFF, where it will hopefully gain a U.S. distributor and travel to us stateside.
No matter what, though, Planetarium will premiere in France in November. And the French, as we are well aware, certainly know their films.