Art House Favorites Catherine Deneuve And Harvey Keitel Unite In Romance

For decades, French actress Catherine Deneuve has been a muse to such heralded and visionary directors as Jacques Demy (The Umbrellas of Cherbourg), Roman Polanski (Repulsion), Luis Buñuel (Bell de Jour), and Lars von Trier (Dancer in the Dark). She has carved out a reputation as a living legend with countless fearless portrayals where she's bared body and soul, and now she's set to team up with one of the few men who can say the same, Harvey Keitel.

While Stateside, Keitel is typically known as a tough guy in films in Reservoir Dogs and Taxi Driver, he tempered his intimidating demeanor with a profound tenderness in Jane Campion's challenging love story The Piano. There, Keitel proved himself a surprisingly compelling romantic lead, and so his pairing with the oft-glorious Deneuve for a currently untitled romance is already incredibly enticing.

Variety reports Robert Cantarella, an established playwright, actor and director in the French theater, will make his feature directorial debut with the unnamed romantic drama that will focus on a late-in-life love story set in Los Angeles. Deneuve will play a retired divorcee who is inspired by her 30-something boyfriend to leave her tranquil life in Brussels behind for the expected excitement of L.A. However, when he is abruptly killed, she chooses to make the move on her own, and while working as a waitress, meets a man (Keitel) with who she shares a fiery romance. Despite the film's touching on loss and mortality, producer Charlotte Uzu insists it's as "uplifting as rock 'n' roll," explaining that finding passion so unexpectedly reignites Deneuve's character, "livening up the film as it unfolds."

The untitled romance will shoot next fall on location in Brussels and L.A. with a meager budget of $6.5 million.

Kristy Puchko

Staff writer at CinemaBlend.