Thursday, February 21, 2008

Marion Cotillard - Ça Vie en Rose

With the Oscars only a few days away I want to take a moment to post about my Best Actress hopeful, Marion Cotillard for 'La Môme' ('La Vie en Rose' outside of France). I watched the film nearly a year ago now right before my French proficiency exam (requisite for all master’s applications in France for non-francophones). As a confidence booster it fell very, very, short as language from that era is comparatively highbrow, with a different accent and a richer vocabulary. Think of how people spoke at the turn of the century compared with all the ‘ums’ and ‘likes’ that perforate today’s common speech. The story is heartbreaking and real, with moments of overflowing joy (like seeing Piaf turn radiant on stage) and acute pain (like when she finds out her lover was in a plane crash). It would be difficult to write a fictional story so full of twists and turns, ups and downs, and knowing that it is based on real-life events makes it that much more moving.

And the twists and turns continue as the young actress playing Piaf won Best Actress in a Comedy/Music at the Golden Globes, and Best Actress at the BAFTAs. Cotillard's performance is magnificent. She not only captures the look and the sound of the iconic singer, but also portrays her life with grace and dignity, even during moments that were neither gracious nor dignified.

Recently, I was trying to figure out why she looked familiar and it occurred to me that she was in 'A Very Long Engagement' (the follow up to 'Le Fabulous Destin d'Amélie Poulain' by Jean-Pierre Jeunet). She won the César (French equivalent of the BAFTAs, I suppose) for Best Supporting Actress for her role as the vengeful and murderous Tina Lombardi.

She is proving herself a viable talent on both the national and international arenas, and Sunday my fingers will be crossed for the kid (la môme=the kid).

Here is her BAFTA acceptance speech:

Trailer for 'La Vie en Rose'

1 comment:

K said...

She was in another good film that came out a few years ago called Jeux d'enfants (aka Love Me If You Dare). It's a bit like Amelie - colourful and quirky and sweet.