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May 2006
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from Variety (US)

Marion Cotillard might be well-established in France, but in the coming months her international renown will receive a considerable boost from two high-profile films: Olivier Dahan’s “La vie en rose,” in which she plays iconic French chanteuse Edith Piaf, and Ridley Scott’s just-completed “A Good Year,” based on Peter Mayle’s book “A Year in Provence,” in which she’s a Provencal beauty who catches the eye of expat Max Skinner (Russell Crowe).

The roles have the potential to place Cotillard among the international ranks of such French film sirens as Emmanuelle Béart, Audrey Tautou and Eva Green.

The daughter of two stage thesps, the 30-year-old Cotillard began her screen career at 17. While her notoriety has remained manageable, her range is apparently limitless: She excelled as the revenge-bent femme fatale in WWI-set “A Very Long Engagement,” convinced as the WWII incarnation of Jeanne Moreau’s character in “Lisa” and is heartbreakingly sensitive as a shy classical musician in contempo dramedy “You and Me.”

When roles seemed scarce, Cotillard considered upgrading her part-time work for Greenpeace into full-time militancy. Tim Burton tapped her to star as Billy Crudup’s pregnant wife in “Big Fish” just as she was about to defend all the fish (and dolphins and whales) in the sea.

Beauty, talent and a social conscience — consider Cotillard France’s answer to Angelina Jolie without the hoopla.

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