The period film “Firebrand,” starring Jude Law and Alicia Vikander, had its world premiere at the 76th Cannes Film Festival this Sunday, May 21. The crowd at the Grand Theater Lumiere was so moved by the historical piece that the film was honored with a standing ovation for almost nine minutes.
Festival de Cannes, or Cannes Film Festival, is an event that takes place every year in Cannes, France, to appreciate newly released films and documentaries from all around the globe. The award for the best film is the most prestigious one given here at Cannes and is called the Golden Palm or the ‘Palme d’Or.’
Firebrand is the creation of the South-American filmmaker and director Karim Ainouz, and its screenwriting was done by the sister duo Henrietta and Jessica Ashworth. Firebrand is Ainouz’s first English-language movie. At Cannes 2019, his Portuguese-language movie “The Invisible Life of Euridice Gusmao” won an award, and his Portuguese documentary “Mariner of the Mountains” premiered at the Cannes Film Festival held in 2011.
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A period film is a piece that is set during the earlier times. These types of films often have a higher budget, and the shooting is more complex as compared to normal films, but the hardwork that goes into it makes sure that the audience experiences the past era as if another reality. Firebrand’s source of inspiration is the novel “Queen’s Gambit” published in the year 2013 by the author Elizabeth Fremantle.
In the movie, Jude is seen playing the lead role of the savage Henry VIII, the former King of England who reigned from 1509 until his death in the year 1547. He is famous for his six marriages and his first wife, Catherine of Aragon; he got divorced with.
Talking about his career in the industry, David Jude Heyworth Law, or Jude Law, is a 50-year-old English actor, producer, and director who was born and raised in London. He attracted international attention for his role in the American psychological thriller, The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999), by Anthony Minghella. He also played the role of the character of Dane in Shakespeare’s Hamlet on Broadway, which earned him a second Tony nomination in 2010.
In Firebrand, Alicia Vikander played the role of the king’s sixth and last wife, Catherine Parr, who married him in the year 1543, four years before his death. Catherine was a reformer at heart, known for the moment she was instated as the regent queen in the king’s absence during an overseas war. She is seen fighting for her own survival, fearing her fate might be similar to the previous wives of the king.
Now looking at her history, Alicia Amanda Vikander is a 34-year-old Swedish actress who gained international recognition after her role as Kitty in “Anna Karenina” (2012), “A Royal Affair” (2012), and “The Fifth Estate” (2013). She also earned praise for her role as the loving wife of an artist in the real-life based drama “The Danish Girl” (2015), which earned her an Academy Award, and a humanoid robot (AI) Ava in the science-fiction movie “Ex Machina.”
Jude, in an interview, mentioned that when he was reading the script, he found it intriguing as people know more about the other five wives of Henry VIII because they were all either divorced, dead (due to health problems), or beheaded.
Other than Jude and Alicia, Sam Riley, Eddie Marsan, Simon Russell Beale, and Erin Doherty are also in the casting. The role of preacher and writer Anne Askew is played by Erin, Bishop Stephen Gardiner by Simon, Thomas and Edward Seymour by Sam and Eddie, respectively.
Jude Law, Alicia Vikander, Karim Ainouz (director), Gabrielle Tana (producer), and others were met with warm greetings and applause after the premiere of the movie at the Cannes 2023 red carpet.
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