France’s Breillat back to breaking taboos at Cannes with ‘Last Summer’

CANNES (Reuters) – French director Catherine Breillat’s new erotic thriller “Last Summer,” premiered on Thursday night, bringing her taboo-breaking style to the Cannes Film Festival.

The film follows Anne, a lawyer living in Paris with her husband and two daughters, when the son from her husband’s previous marriage, 17-year-old Theo, comes to stay.


Anne begins an affair with Theo, putting her family and career in jeopardy.

Lea Drucker, who won France’s top Cesar award for best actress in 2019’s “Custody,” stars as Anne, while newcomer Samuel Kircher plays Theo. Olivier Rabourdin, from “Taken” and “Midnight in Paris”, is the husband, Pierre.

“Last Summer” is Breillat’s second time in competition for the festival’s top prize, after 2007’s “The Last Mistress”, which was set in 1800s Paris, and told the story of a libertine who ends his relationship with his mistress to get married.

Breillat called that film her most accessible work, as it was “completely unlike the films I usually make in that it does not break any taboos”.

Her other well-known films include 1999’s explicit erotic drama “Romance” and 2004’s “Anatomy of Hell”, both of which featured Italian adult film star Rocco Siffredi.

“Last Summer” is a remake of the 2019 Danish film “Queen of Hearts,” which Denmark picked as its official selection for the 2020 Oscars in the international feature film category.

(Reporting by Miranda Murray; Editing by Andrew Heavens)