Vincent Cassel Will Lend His Intensity to a Crazy Cult Figure in ‘Partisan’


The English speaking world hasn’t gotten enough Vincent Cassel lately. Seeing as he’s one of the most intense and magnetic performers working in movies today, it’s seemed like an inevitability for a while now that he would eventually break through that next tier in the business to achieve true Hollywood stardom. And once he gained so much attention acting opposite Natalie Portman in Darren Aronofsky’s 2010 film, Black Swan, it felt like that moment was finally upon us. Surely after getting such a large stage for his acting, every big name filmmaker in the game would now want to get Vincent Cassel in their movie, right?

Since then the only roles in English-language films he’s gotten have been a small but memorable turn in David Cronenberg’s strangely-inert-for-David-Cronenberg A Dangerous Method and a featured role in Danny Boyle’s strangely-ignored-for-Danny-Boyle Trance though. Clearly these chances to see our man Cassel on the big screen are better than nothing and probably something that shouldn’t be complained about, but what the heck, let’s complain anyway. What gives? Where’s all of our intense stares and smoldering intensity? Well, according to a new report, it looks like they’re going to come packaged in a new film called Partisan.

A press release went out today [via Screen Daily] announcing to the world that Cassel will be replacing the sadly otherwise engaged Oscar Isaac as the lead in this debut feature from director Ariel Kleiman. Given all of the attention that Isaac is surely soon to get from his starring role in the Coen brothers’ new pic, Inside Llewyn Davis, losing his presence in a project like this would normally be seen as a pretty huge blow for a just starting out filmmaker like Kleiman, but not when you get an actor like Cassel to take his place, and not when you’re making a movie that has a plot synopsis that sounds absolutely perfect for our Parisian superman to knock out of the park.

Partisan will see Cassel playing the head of a communal family who lives together in a lavish compound. His character, who’s named Gregori, is described as being charismatic and troubled, as many heads of communal families are wont to be, and word is the film introduces us to his twisted practices through the eyes of an 11-year-old-boy named Alexander, who’s growing up under his thrall, but nonetheless begins to question his teachings. If Cassel’s persona seemed intense enough to us in things like Black Swan or the Mesrine movies, just imagine how intimidating he’s going to be once we see him through the eyes of an 11-year-old. Yikes.

Weaned on the genre films of the 80s. Reared by the independent movement of the 90s. Earned a BA for writing stuff in the 00s. Reviews current releases at

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