Pathé has dropped the first trailer for Paul Verhoeven’s steamy period drama Benedetta. The latest from the Elle and Basic Instinct director has already been confirmed as an official selection at this year’s Cannes Film Festival and will screen in competition during the event which is scheduled to run July 6-17. Pathé will release locally on July 9.
Virginie Efira, Charlotte Rampling, Daphné Patakia, Lambert Wilson and Olivier Rabourdin star in the thriller which was originally titled Blessed Virgin. Inspired by true events, it’s set in the late 15th century as plague ravages the land. Benedetta Carlini (Efira) joins the convent in Pescia, Tuscany as a novice who has been capable from an early age of performing miracles. Her impact on life in the community is immediate and momentous.
The film is based on the book Immodest Acts: The Life Of A Lesbian Nun In Renaissance Italy which was published in 1986 and written by historian Judith C Brown. David Birke, who co-wrote Elle, reteamed with Verhoeven on the Benedetta script. The story, which mixes religion with erotica and controversy, fits right into Verhoeven’s wheelhouse.
This will mark a return to the Croisette for Verhoeven whose 2016 Elle reinvigorated his long and storied career. It is also his second time working in French. Cannes is set to open with Leos Carax’s Annette on July 6 as signs that the fest will go on as planned increase with France relaxing Covid restrictions throughout May and June.
Pathé International is handling Benedetta sales while Elle producers Saïd Ben Saïd and Michel Merkt produce. Check out the trailer above and a new poster below.