After getting a much-deserved Best Actress nomination for her role in the small-budget indie Frozen River, Melissa Leo is returning to similar ground with Francine, giving the actress a substantial lead character in a small scope atmosphere. Written and directed by Brian M. Cassidy and Melanie Shatzky, the drama premiered at Berlin and showed up at SXSW to solid reviews and now the trailer has arrived today.

While it looks a bit dour and spare, Leo is the key attraction here with what looks to be a powerful performance as a woman who just exited prison and is readjusting to life in a small town. As she is on the cusp of delivering major tentpoles with Olympus Has Fallen, Oblivion and even Flight, it’s nice that she can still sneak these sorts of projects in. Check out the trailer and poster below.


After serving time in prison, Francine settles down in small-town North America. Through a series of temporary jobs, she tries to regain a foothold in society. However, this security proves just as elusive as the connections she tries to forge with people in the town. As her human relationships falter, Francine looks to animals for support, a development that leads her in a tragically wrong direction.

Brian M. Cassidy and Melanie Shatzky’s fiction debut Francine focuses on the title figure during a brief chapter in her life. Oscar winner Melissa Leo conveys the longings and woes of the distressed protagonist with remarkable precision, delivering a performance of tremendous force. The narrative provides no psychological backstory, and yet we grow increasinglyclose to this fragile person, whose life does not have a clear path but rather consists of a series of emotional states. As the protagonist moves through the film’s impressive locations, her path through life is much like an orbiting satellite: detached, lonely and ultimately destined to crash.

Francine opens in limited release on September 12th and will expand from there.

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