June 5, 2023

Set to open the 2023 Cannes International Film Festival, Jeanne Du Barry is guaranteed to make a lasting imprint on audiences everywhere. The movie follows King Louis XV’s famed mistress as she navigates the shark-infested waters of the French court and political scion and overall force to be reckoned with what we now know today.

A French period piece ripe with allure, mystique, and seduction, the Cannes opener is sure to have audiences both enticed and enthralled by the performances of lead actors Johnny Depp and Maïwenn, who also serves as the film’s director. When asked about his decision to select Jeanne Du Barry to open Cannes during the press conference unveiling the selection for the 76th edition of the festival, Cannes director Thierry Frémaux said that it was because it’s a “beautiful film,” and that “Johnny Depp is magnificent in it.” If you’re excited to sink your teeth into a lush and sumptuous period piece and immerse yourself in the political mind games of the French court, learn more about the release date, plot details, cast, and more below.


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Image via Why Not Productions

Does Jeanne Du Barry Have a Release Date?

The Johnny Depp starring vehicle directed by Maïwenn will be making waves as the opening film at the 2023 Cannes International Film Festival. The film will have its world premiere in the Palais on May 16. Simultaneously with its Cannes bow, the film will be released in French cinemas. There’s currently no word on when North American audiences can see the film.

What is the Plot of Jeanne Du Barry?

Jeanne Du Barry is a biographical drama loosely inspired by the rise and fall of the titular famed French Court mistress of Louis XV. The story begins with Jeanne, born Jeanne Vaubernier, the illegitimate daughter of an impoverished seamstress in 1743. With working-class roots, she’s young and hungry for culture and pleasure. She uses her wits and considerable charm to climb the social ladder, rising through the ranks of the French court. Soon, Jeanne finds herself favored by the king, Louis XV. Unaware that she is, in fact a courtesan, he falls madly in love with her, and it’s through their relationship that Louis finds life worth living once more. His newfound zest for life and romance with Du Barry leads to him moving her into his Versailles palace, going against all propriety and etiquette, scandalizing the court with her arrival.

Does Jeanne Du Barry Have a Trailer?

The trailer begins with a radiant Jeanne being introduced. She’s swathed in golden candlelight and silky corsetry. She’s climbing on top of tables, dancing about; she’s the undoubted life of the party. But what happens when the party’s over? All that’s left is Jeanne, with an insatiable need for more.

Filmed in the real Versailles palace, we are introduced to the gilded French court with white wigs towering, evoking the old adage “the higher the hair the closer to god,” and pale powdered faces concealing the ugliness beneath. She’s announced with a flock of doves and an unusual amount of pomp and circumstance, putting the court on edge and wary of her arrival.

The second that Louis XV lays his eyes on her, his ruby red-painted twists in a knowing smirk, already smitten with her charming, alluring nature. We see flashes of Du Barry and Louis’ romance as they fall madly, deeply in love with one another and glimpses of their life as they grow old and grey with one another. Days are spent horseback riding in the meadows, and nights are spent tangled in each other’s embrace, ultimately staying true to one another despite the court’s reservations. Not everything is sunshine and roses, however, as one of the staff remarks that Du Barry will come to know the dark side of the king, and what he’s really like when things do not go his way.

The trailer crescendoes to one last shot of Du Barry running up a long, arduous flight of stairs much like her journey to the top.

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Who Are The Cast of Jeanne Du Barry?

johnny depp jeanne du barry johnny depp
Image via Why Not Productions

Take a dip into the political mind games and overt excess of the French monarchy with a delectable cast that includes Maïwenn (My King) as the titular Jeanne Du Barry, Maïwenn is one of the most popular actresses working in French cinema today, having cut her teeth early on in films such as One Deadly Summer and The Fifth Element. Johnny Depp will assume the role of Louis XV, the second to last king before the monarchy collapsed amid the French Revolution.

Pierre Richard (The Goat) and Noémie Lvovsky (The Great Magic) also star in undisclosed roles. Pierre Richard is regarded to be one of the most talented French comedians of our time, known for his starring roles in comedies like The Tall Blond Man with One Black Shoe. He can be seen as the potion-brewing Panoramix in the latest installment of the Asterix & Obelix series, Asterix & Obelix: The Middle Kingdom. Meanwhile, Noémie Lvovsky is known for both her writing and acting, having written the screenplays and acted in acclaimed hits like Camille Rewinds, The Summer House, and Tomorrow and Thereafter.

French cinema darling and heartthrob Louis Garrel (Greta Gerwig‘s Little Women) will also appear as one of the courtiers Du Barry seduces to climb her way to the top. Benjamin Lavernhe, Melvil Poupaud, Pascal Greggory, and India Hair also star in undisclosed roles, presumably as French courtiers, Versailles staff, or figures from Du Barry’s checkered past.

Who Are The Creators Behind Jeanne Du Barry?

The titular Jeanne Du Barry herself sits in the director’s chair, Maïwenn. In what will be her sixth feature film, Maïwenn takes the helm to deftly direct a sumptuous, discerning look into the life of Jeanne Du Barry. Thierry Frémaux has invited the actress and filmmaker to Cannes before with entries like 2011’s critically lauded Polisse, 2015’s tragic My King starring Vincent Cassel, and 2020’s DNA was selected for the Cannes special. The film also marks a historic first opening film funded by Saudi Arabia, having scored post-production financing from the Red Sea Film Festival.

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