Directed by Azazel Jacobs, ‘French Exit’ is a delightful surreal comedy film. It is an adaptation of the bestselling novel of the same name by Patrick deWitt, who also wrote the screenplay for the film. The film follows a wealthy Manhattan socialite, Frances Price, who finds herself in the throes of dwindling fortunes. Her wealth has declined at a rapid pace since the death of her husband. She is accompanied by her son, Malcolm (Lucas Hedges), who has an irritable temper, and a mercurial cat named Small Frank.
In the light of her financial misfortunes, Frances decides to leave for Paris with her family to stay in a friend’s apartment. Frances and Malcolm prepare for their future in the midst of a growing social circle forming in an absurd way. French exit refers to an ignominious exit from a social group without bidding a farewell. The ethos of the meaning reflects in this surreal film that amalgamates the idiosyncratic logic of filmmakers like Wes Anderson and Noah Baumbach. If you are curious about the location of this drama, we have got you covered!
French Exit Filming Locations
The filming of ‘French Exit’ began in October 2019 in Montreal, Quebec, and subsequently in Paris, France. Montreal served as the location for the social circles of Manhattan depicted in the film. Scenes depicting Frances and Malcolm’s life in Paris was filmed in the City of Love itself.
A Canadian-Irish Production, ‘French Exit’ was filmed extensively in Montreal, Quebec. Braving the chilly winter weather, the filming process in Montreal continued through till late November 2019. Michelle Pfeiffer had been in the city previously to shoot for Darren Aronofsky’s ‘mother!’ alongside Javier Bardem and Jennifer Lawrence. Pfeiffer considers her experience of shooting ‘French Exit’ among her top five filmmaking experiences. Incidentally, Patrick deWitt hails from Canada even though he currently resides in Portland, Oregon.
‘French Exit’ becomes increasingly absurd once the drama reaches Paris. Entailing from one of her encounters with a spiritual medium, Frances has reasons to believe that her husband’s spirit inhabits her cat. The fantasy world is deftly contained within an apartment in Paris, populated by the socialites who integrate into Frances and Malcolm’s home.
Tobias Datum, the film’s cinematographer, mostly used wide frames to present the unique narrative and the dissonance of Frances and Malcolm’s life. The Paris apartment essentially serves as an artifice devoid of any modern equipment like cell-phones or computers. Moreover, the Parisian scenes establish the comedy’s weird outlook, as it helps to conjure a different time zone separating the distinct situations of ‘French Exit’.
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