Tamara Drewe, bomb threat issued by Stephen Frears

Three years after being President of the Feature Film Jury, Stephen Frears is in the Official Selection for the third time after Prick up your Ears (Competition, 1987) and The Van (Competition, 1996). Tamara Drewe, presented today Out of Competition, is a satire on the failure of contemporary feminism.

After “Dangerous Liasons” by Choderlos Laclos, “The Van” by Roddy Doyle, “The Hi-Lo Country” by Max Evans, “High Fidelity” by Nick Horby, “Chéri” by Colette, the British director, known for his literary adaptations, has once again been inspired by a novel, this time by Posy Simmonds. This time around, however, it was a very different experience. Tamara Drewe is primarily a graphic novel, almost a storyboard, at once a template and a challenge for its transfer to the big screen, as set designer Alan Macdonald explains: “Sometimes Stephen said to me: ‘Take a look at the book! Other times it was: ‘Can’t you get the book out of your head now!’”

Gemma Arterton (seen for the first time in Quantum of Solace) interpreting Tamara Drewe, also wanted to get as close to the character as possible: a 21st-century London Amazon, high up in the celebrity press, with a nose job, legs that never end, and a talent for breaking hearts… a young woman who, with her smouldering looks, is capable of totally overturning life in a village that was perfectly harmonious before she got there.

The film will be screened at 16:15 in the Grand Théâtre Lumière.