Mona Lisa

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* Also see other James Farwell Projects in Development

Feature   |   English   |  France - Italy - UK - USA

Production Status:  In Development

Genre:  Action Caper/ Adventure/ Romantic Heist


Tagline: "Everybody wants a Mona Lisa!"


Logline: How many Mona Lisa’s did Leonardo paint? The answers give rise to intrigue, murder, greed, double-cross, mystery and romance in this fast-paced action romantic comedy.

Writer/Executive Producer: James Farwell


Producers: Carol Bidault de l'Isle, Chandu Shah


Executive Producers: James Farwell, Frank Hart, Jerry Daigle


Co-Producer: John Oetjen 


Countries of production: France - Italy - UK - USA


Duration (in minutes): 90


FINANCING IN PLACE: 65% (In Equity and Tax incentives)



In St. Petersburg, IGOR STRASKOFF, a Russian Oligarch living in Paris attends a glittering reception in the Hermitage Museum’s Leonardo Room.  Russian President YURI TITOV is affronted upon discovering that the Mona Lisa theirs is a copy. He presses Igor to acquire one and "donate" it to Mother Russia. Indeed, a Mona Lisa is up for auction that week-end at Dallier’s Auction House in Paris, and expected to sell for 100 million Euros.

In the meantime, in Paris, we meet DR. NICOLE BREMONT, an art expert – and head of a secretive group within the National Police whose mission is to combat art fraud and theft. She agrees to help the elderly MRS GOLDSTEIN recover her lost Mona Lisa, stolen by the Nazis from her family home in Berlin in the 1930’s. Knowing of the auction, Nicole shows up at Dallier’s. There she confronts auction house director MARIE DE NOYEN and her eccentric art consultant, JEAN-PAUL CLESTIER, , and demands that Dallier delay the auction while experts determine whether the Goldstein and Dallier Mona Lisa are the same. Marie pushes back, and Jean-Paul, declines to offer an opinion. The auction proceeds.  RINKU GUPTA - a wealthy New Delhi nouveau-riche expatriate and Igor bid furiously against one another. Gupta wins. Having lost at bidding, Igor’s goons steal the painting. Gupta complains to Nicole and the police, accusing Igor. Police search Igor’s house but find no evidence of the stolen painting. Igor awakens the next morning to discover that the Dallier Mona Lisa has been burgled from him. He sets his team in motion to locate and acquire, legally or illegally, a Mona Lisa.

Nicole and Jean-Paul pursue different agendas. She cares not whether the Goldstein painting is an authentic Leonardo, only if the Dallier Mona Lisa is was the one stolen from the woman’s family. His interest is in whether the painting can be attributed to Leonardo. She wants him to stay out of her way as she embarks on a tense adventure to track down the truth. Jean-Paul pursues his own truth. The character’s paths crisscross, heightening tension between them, yet flowering a romantic bond.

Igor knows he cannot fail Titov. His future, fortune and his daughter are at stake. He tries to balance aggression with restraint to head off getting kicked out of France. It’s tough sledding. His musclemen thrive on ill-conceived action, while his own expert, KARP, dances around questions as to the authenticity of a gaggle of Mona Lisa’s that suddenly crop up.

The action moves swiftly from the toney arrondissements of Paris to a Duke’s castle in Toledo, from a billionaire’s hi-tech Loire Valley chateaux to a mysterious castle at Lake Como, as the players feint, thrust and counter-thrust, spinning up thickening layers of mystery, setting and closing traps. Inspired by fact, Mona Lisa offers excitement, mystery revolving around the enigmatic Mona Lisa, non-stop action, romance and delight of unpredictable surprises.

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