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Exclusive First Look at Poster for Melissa Leo's 'Francine,' Premiering at Berlin

Thompson on Hollywood By Sophia Savage | Thompson on Hollywood February 9, 2012 at 2:59PM

Melissa Leo's "Francine," from directors Brian M. Cassidy and Melanie Shatzky, is premiering at the Berlin Film Festival February 13. Check out the new poster for the American-Canadian co-production...
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Francine poster

Melissa Leo's "Francine," from directors Brian M. Cassidy and Melanie Shatzky, will premiere at the Berlin Film Festival on February 13. Check out the new poster for the American-Canadian co-production. Leo stars as woman regaining her foothold in society after being released from prison. The security of temporary jobs proves just as elusive as the relationships she tries to build with the people in her new-found small town in North America. Her failure with human connection leads her to seek support from animals, with tragic consequences. More on this first feature narrative from Cassidy and Shatzky below (their doc "The Patron Saints" played Toronto 2011 and Rotterdam last month):

"Francine" focuses on the title figure during a brief chapter in her life. Oscar winner Melissa Leo conveys the longings and woes of the distressed protagonist with remarkable precision, delivering a performance of tremendous force. The narrative provides no psychological backstory, and yet we grow increasingly close to this fragile person, whose life does not have a clear path but rather consists of a series of emotional states. As the protagonist moves through the film’s impressive locations, her path through life is much like an orbiting satellite: detached, lonely and ultimately destined to crash.

Francine poster full

This article is related to: News, International Film Festival Rotterdam, Festivals, Melissa Leo, Indies


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.