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TIFF WATCH: Jean Dujardin Is the French Popeye Doyle in Terrific 'The Connection' Trailer

Photo of Ryan Lattanzio By Ryan Lattanzio | TOH! August 27, 2014 at 1:53PM

A first trailer has dropped for Toronto entry "The Connection," starring French screen icon Jean Dujardin as a magistrate working to take down the organized drug trade in Marseille.
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'La French'
'La French'

A first trailer has dropped for Toronto entry "The Connection," a European spin on 1971's "The French Connection" starring Jean Dujardin as a magistrate working to take down the organized drug trade in Marseille. The trailer is below (no subs, alas).

Directed Cedric Jimenez shot his crime epic on 35mm to give it the flavor of the gritty William Friedkin classic that won Gene Hackman a Best Actor Oscar for his portrayal of undeterred police detective Popeye Doyle. Here's the synopsis:

Marseille. 1975. Pierre Michel, a young magistrate with a wife and children, has just been transferred to help in the crackdown on organized crime.  He decides to take on the French Connection, a mafia-run operation that exports heroin the world over.  Paying heed to no one’s warnings, he leads a one-man campaign against mafia kingpin Gaetan Zampa, the most untouchable godfather of them all.

Based on a true story and known as "La French" overseas, the film ignited a pre-buy bidding war after Gaumont Film Company unveiled eight minutes of promo footage at Cannes this year. Drafthouse Films promptly snapped it up for North American distribution. No release date yet, but we will see it at the Toronto International Film Festival.

Drafthouse Films wants to "get young audiences excited about foreign language film," said CEO Tim League. "Nothing excited us more than 'La French.'" The film will screen selectively in the original 35mm format. 

This article is related to: Jean Dujardin, Toronto International Film Festival, Drafthouse Films, Trailers


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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.