I was checking out what my French crush, composer Alexandre Desplat, has been up to since winning the Oscar this year (yes, that happened!) and noticed Tale of Tales on his upcoming credits. Based on Pentamarone (Tale of Tales in English) — a 17th century collection of fairy tales by Italian author Giambattista Basile, the movie is Italian filmmaker Matteo Garrone's entry to the Palme d'Or competition at the Cannes Film Festival this month. I watched the trailer for the fairy tale and pardon the pun, but it looks pretty Grimm. And grisly. A bit bizarre. What's cool is that it doesn't look like anything else you've been watching on the big screen lately.
While Garrone's film focuses on three story lines, the original book is a collection of fifty tales including an early version of Cinderella — and here I thought I'd narrowed down the etymology of that old story in my post about the most recent iteration of Cinderella, the movie starring Lily James and Kate Blanchett. Charles Perrault's collection of fairy tales which included Cendrillion was published in 1697; Basile's version predates that with an edition published as early as 1634-1636!
But back to Tale of Tales, the movie. It's Garrone's first English language film and stars Salma Hayek, John C. Reilly, Toby Jones and Vincent Cassel. According to the Rope of Silicon, the film will "interweave three separate story strands bookended by brief bits in which Italians Alba Rohrwacher and Massimo Ceccherini will play a street circus family. In one tale Salma Hayek will play a jealous queen who forfeits her husband's life. In another, Vincent Cassel plays a king whose passion is stoked by two mysterious sisters."
Tale of Tales also features gorgeous music from maestro Desplat. The film officially opens July 22 in France; we'll see if we get a US release date after the Cannes critics and audiences get a closer look.