Sunday, June 16, 2024

Johnny Depp Cannes Opener “Jeanne du Barry” Goes to Straight-to-Video Distributor Vertical Entertainment


The short story here is: no one really wanted “Jeanne duBarry,” the 2023 Cannes opener.

Starring Johnny Depp and the film’s director, Maiwenn, “Jeanne duBarry” is a period piece full of great costumes and sets, but lacking everything else. Depp looks like a waxen vampire. Maiwenn could actually be the child of Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler.

The film is well composed, but the screenplay and acting are strike outs. At Cannes it was opening night. Everyone likes to applaud a celebrity. But Depp was out of his depth.

The lucky winner for distribution is Vertical Entertainment, a company determined not to buy anything of value. Their whole resume is filled with straight to video B list offerings you have never heard of.

After the opening screening, the Festival gave a terrific dinner at the Hotel Carlton to celebrate its renovation. Lots of stars came including Michael Douglas and Helen Mirren, plus Maiwenn and a popular French actor, Melvil Poupaud. Depp, however, never showed.

The next day a press conference was scheduled for 12:15pm. The press room was full and all of the cast and the director of “Jeanne duBarry” arrived on time. But Depp was 42 minutes late. His excuse was he got stuck in traffic. (Snark: I said, yeah, in Nice, where he just woke up.)

So good luck to Vertical. Johnny may be horizontal when they need him. And let’s get this out of the way now: there are NO Oscars involved here. None. Zero. Please. Let’s not get into that game.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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