Music Box Films is proud to announce the release of THE GUARDIANS, the intimate new drama from the Of Gods and Men director Xavier Beauvois, adapted from the acclaimed novel by Ernest Pérochon and nominated for four César awards. Starring Nathalie Baye, Laura Smet and newcomer Iris Bry, THE GUARDIANS depicts the unsung lives of women who are left behind to work a family farm during the Great War.
A selection of The Film Society of Lincoln Center’s Rendez Vous with French Cinema and the Toronto International Film Festival, THE GUARDIANS is scheduled to open in New York on Friday, May 4, 2018 followed by a national roll out.
An affecting human drama of love, loss, and resilience unfolds against the backdrop of World War I. The women of the Paridier farm, under the deft hand of Hortense, the family's matriarch (Nathalie Baye,) must grapple with the workload while the men, including two sons, are off at the front. Hortense reluctantly brings on an outsider, the hard-scrabble teenage orphan, Francine (Iris Bry,) to help her daughter Solange (Laura Smet, Ms. Baye’s real-life daughter). New tools allow the women to triumph over the land, newfound independence is acquired, yet emotions are stirred especially when the men return from the front on short leaves. Beauvois revels in the mysteries and beauties of the French countryside, here unravaged by war, with painterly images bathed in natural light, yet keeps his focus on the intricate drama that plays out against the upheaval of the Great War.
One of French cinema’s leading actresses, Nathalie Baye has appeared in over 100 films, including Xavier Dolan’s It’s Only the End of the World and Laurence Anyways, Steven Spielberg’s Catch Me If You Can, Noémie Lvovsky’s Feelings, Jean-Luc Godard’s Every Man for Himself and Bertrand Tavernier’s A Week’s Holiday. THE GUARDIANS marks her third time working with Xavier Beauvois, following To Matthieu and Le Petit Lieutenant for which she was awarded the César for Best Actress.
Xavier Beauvois started his career as assistant director to André Téchiné and Manoel de Oliviera before directing his own features, including The Price of Fame, Of Gods and Men (2010 Cannes Grand Jury Prize and 2011 César Award winner for Best Film, Best Cinematography and Best Supporting Actor), Nord, Don't Forget You're Going to Die, (1995 Cannes Jury Prize winner) and Le Petit Lieutenant. He has also acted in numerous films by French luminaries such as Claire Denis, Philippe Garrel, Michel Deville, Jacques Doillon, and Benoît Jacquot.
Renowned French cinematographer Caroline Champetier (Holy Motors, The Innocents) here re-teams with Xavier Beauvois following Le Petit Lieutenant and Of Gods and Men, which earned her the César Award for Best Cinematography.
“With narrative restraint and a lapidary visual style, Mr. Beauvois opens up this isolated world with stirring emotional force.” Manohla Dargis, New York Times
“..Beauvois still masters his uniquely classical brand of filmmaking, coaxing strong performances out of veteran Nathalie Baye and newbie Iris Bry, who makes an impressive screen debut....powerful portrait of women getting by in a world where all the men are eater gone or gone mad.” Jordan Mintzer, Hollywood Reporter