5 things you need to know about ‘Planetarium’

(Photo courtesy TIFF)
Do you believe in ghosts? The two characters at the centre of Planetarium do. They spend their lives talking to them—or at least they think they do. Intrigued? We are too. 

If you’ve missed Natalie Portman taking the lead in non-superhero-type movies (no offense, “Thor”), this is your chance to see the actor at her dramatic best in a pre-WWII period piece that revolves around Europe’s fascination with the occult. What else do you need to know about this upcoming TIFF 2016 title? Read on to find out. 

1. Natalie Portman looks a lot like Johnny Depp’s kid

Portman co-stars with Lily-Rose Depp, Johnny’s daughter with French actress Vanessa Paradis. The two play sisters quite convincingly—despite an 18-year age difference. 

2. This is one of two films about female mediums at the festival this year

In “Planetarium,” the Barlow sisters make their living communicating with the dead for audiences of believers. “Personal Shopper,” starring Kristen Stewart, also centres on the story of a young woman who’s able to speak to spirits. 

3. ‘Planetarium’ is French director Rebecca Zlotowski’s first film to have a significant portion of the dialogue in English

Portman and Depp play Americans in 1930s Paris, touring their act across Europe before being discovered by a big shot French film producer who has plans of his own for their talents. Naturally, they speak primarily English. The rest of the film is in French. 

4. The costumes were tailor-made in Paris by an atelier of seamstresses led by designer Anaïs Romand

Romand was behind the award-winning costumes for fashion biopic “Saint Laurent,” so you can be sure the period wardrobe in “Planetarium” is going to be note-perfect. “There’s this one scene,” Romand tells WWD, “of a party hosted by a producer played by Emmanuel Salinger, featuring dresses resembling couture of the time—Schiaparelli, Lanvin, Vionnet, Madame Grès.” Swoon. 

5. The film will premiere at the Venice Film Festival just days before it screens in Toronto

TIFF will host the North American premiere, and the movie will get a wider release in France on the 16th of November. It’s produced by iconic Belgian filmmaking duo Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, who also have their own film screening at TIFF this year: “The Unknown Girl.” 
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