NYFF to close with French Exit

"Jacobs is one of the most distinctive voices in American cinema"

by Anne-Katrin Titze

French Exit director Azazel Jacobs
French Exit director Azazel Jacobs Photo: Anne-Katrin Titze

Film at Lincoln Center announced today that Azazel Jacobs’s French Exit, starring Michelle Pfeiffer as Frances Price and Lucas Hedges as her son Malcolm, with their 'mercurial cat' Small Frank (voiced by Tracy Letts) will be the Closing Night selection of the 58th New York Film Festival. French Exit, an adaptation of Patrick deWitt’s novel, joins the previously announced Opening Night and Centerpiece selections, Steve McQueen’s Lovers Rock and Chloé Zhao’s Nomadland.

Michelle Pfeiffer and Lucas Hedges in French Exit
Michelle Pfeiffer and Lucas Hedges in French Exit

“NYFF is the film festival I grew up attending,” said Jacobs. “I remember seeing Night On Earth for the first time, and waiting afterwards to hand Jim Jarmusch a fan letter. I remember that same year seeing Gus Van Sant’s My Own Private Idaho and having my aim to become a filmmaker only more solidified. I’m grateful to the NYFF for allowing French Exit to premiere in the city I was raised in, and love, and to all who are undoubtedly working tirelessly to make this event happen.”

“We’ve been watching New York filmmaker Azazel Jacobs for more than a decade, since his film Momma’s Man screened in our New Directors/New Films festival in 2008,” said New York Film Festival Director Eugene Hernandez. “Now, we’re honored that he’ll make his NYFF debut with Closing Night selection French Exit, a tour-de-force collaboration with Michelle Pfeiffer that we can’t wait to share with audiences in NYC and beyond.”

“Jacobs is one of the most distinctive voices in American cinema, and it’s a thrill to see him working with new registers and tones in his most ambitious film yet,” said Dennis Lim, New York Film Festival Director of Programming. “It’s rare to encounter a film so wholly surprising. Moment to moment, French Exit is a destabilising delight, as strange and dark as it is playful, thanks in no small part to Michelle Pfeiffer’s career-best performance.”

French Exit is a Sony Pictures Classics release.

The 2020 New York Film Festival runs from September 25 through October 11, 2020.

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