Deauville puts its chips on the table

Penn, Baker, Damon, Isaac and Cage in line-up

by Richard Mowe

Oscar Isaac in Paul Schrader’s The Card Counter premiering at the Deauville Film Festival
Oscar Isaac in Paul Schrader’s The Card Counter premiering at the Deauville Film Festival Photo: Focus Features

The 47th edition of the Deauville Film Festival which opens on 3 September with an out of competition screening of Stillwater by Tom McCarthy and featuring Matt Damon and Camille Cotin, has unveiled an official selection of 13 titles.

Among the Competition are Sean Baker’s Red Rocket, shown last month at the Cannes Film Festival which controversially depicts the tale of a washed-up porn star in pursuit of a teenager, and Michael Sarnoski’s debut feature Pig, with Nicolas Cage as the reclusive owner of a stolen truffle pig. The star told one interviewer that he had found certain personal resonances with the main character: “I do feel that I’ve gone into my own wilderness and that I’ve left the small town that is Hollywood,” he has been quoted as saying. The film also screens at the Edinburgh International Film Festival later this month.

Sean Penn directs and stars in Flag Day
Sean Penn directs and stars in Flag Day Photo: Courtesy of Cannes Film Festival
Other strong contenders include Diego Ongaro’s Down With the King, in which rapper Freddie Gibbs plays Mercury Maxwell - a rapper who’s lost his taste for the game and considers quitting music to become a farmer, and Tim Hutton’s Western The Last Son with an impressive cast of Heather Graham, Sam Worthington, Thomas Jane, and Colson Baker (aka rapper Machine Gun Kelly).

Besides Stillwater, the out of competition choices comprise The Card Counter by Paul Schrader (also selected for the Venice Film Festival) and starring Oscar Isaac; Sean Penn’s Flag Day (from last month’s Cannes in which he also stars as con artist John Vogel and directs his real-life daughter Dylan Penn; and Brad Furman’s The City Of Lies about the murder of rapper The Notorious BIG. A fourth title remains to be chosen.

Festival director Bruno Barde noted the number of films submitted was down 20 per cent from previous years, mainly due to the pandemic and the timing of Cannes which was pushed from May to July. Barde said he hopes Deauville (the second largest film festival in France after Cannes) will be a place of reunion and rejoicing as Cannes had been, and chose this year’s poster — which shows two people kissing — as “a hopeful symbol.”

The jury whose deliberations will be announced on the closing night (11 September) will be presided over by Charlotte Gainsbourg, the daughter of Jane Birkin and Serge Gainsbourg while the Revelation jury will be headed up by Clemence Poesy.

Tim Sutton's snowy western The Last Son with Sam Worthington, Thomas Jane, and Colson Baker
Tim Sutton's snowy western The Last Son with Sam Worthington, Thomas Jane, and Colson Baker Photo: Courtesy of Deauville Film Festival


  • Blue Bayou by Justin Chon
  • Catch The Fair One by Josef Kub­o­ta Wladyka
  • Down With The King by Diego Ongaro
  • John And The Hole by Pas­cual Sisto
  • The Night House by David Bruckner
  • Pig by Michael Sarnoski
  • Pleasure by Nin­ja Thyberg
  • Potato Dreams Of America by Wes Hurley
  • Red Rocket by Sean Baker
  • The Last Son by Tim Sutton
  • The Novice by Lau­ren Hadaway
  • We Are Living Things by Anto­nio Tibaldi
  • We Burn Like This by Alana Waksman

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