'The Mad Women's Ball' Trailer: Mélanie Laurent Writes, Directs & Stars In New TIFF Period Drama

Even though she’s still a big-name actor around the world, Mélanie Laurent has been flexing her filmmaking muscles quite a bit in recent years. And for her next film, “The Mad Women’s Ball,” she’s not only starring, but also writing and directing the drama.

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As seen in the trailer (in French, with no subtitles, sadly), “The Mad Women’s Ball” tells the story of a young woman in 19th century France who is committed to a mental health facility because she believes that she can communicate with spirits. While at the facility, she becomes the subject of a ton of experiments, while also dealing with the tragedy at the heart of her illness.

As mentioned, the film stars Mélanie Laurent, who also wears her writer and director hat for the feature. “The Mad Women’s Ball” is based on the Victoria Mas novel of the same name. For Laurent, the film marks the first film since 2018’s “Galveston” as a filmmaker. However, there won’t be a huge wait between ‘Ball’ and her next film “The Nightingale,” which is expected to arrive in 2022.

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“The Mad Women’s Ball” is set to debut at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival before debuting on Amazon Prime Video on September 17. You can watch the trailer below.

Here’s the (lengthy) synopsis for the film:

The Mad Women’s Ball tells the story of Eugénie, a radiant and passionate young woman who is at odds with her bourgeois milieu in the late 19th century. When Eugénie’s family learn that she communicates with spirits, they decide to have her committed…Eugénie is taken against her will by her father to the neurological clinic at La Salpêtrière in Paris, directed by the eminent Professor Charcot, one of the pioneers of neurology and psychiatry. La Salpêtrière housed women diagnosed as hysterical, mad, epileptic, and physically or mentally ill. Here, far removed in every respect from Eugénie’s bourgeois background, women are subjected to many experiments, carried out by doctors without scruples, in the name of science. It is here that the young woman’s path crosses that of Geneviève, a nurse in the neurological unit. Geneviève is tormented by the death of her sister. She leads a monotonous life, between her father, a former doctor, whom she must take care of, and Professor Charcot, to whom she is totally devoted. But the arrival of Eugénie is about to change all that. The meeting of the two women will change their destiny forever as they prepare to attend the famous “Bal des Folles”, a ball at the clinic, organized every year by Professor Charcot.