Public Enemies (2009)

Short Facts

Screenwriter: , ,
Based upon: book by Bryan Burrough
Starring: , , , , , , , ,
Genre: , ,
Runtime: 143 minutes
MPAA Rating: France: Tous publics, US: R, UK: 15
Filming Dates: March - May 2008
Filming Locations: Chicago and various places in Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana and Florida (USA)
Theatrical Release: France: 8 Jul 2009, US: 3 Jul 2009, UK: n/a
DVD Release: France: n/a, US: n/a, UK: n/a

America's Most Wanted

In the action-thriller Public Enemies, acclaimed filmmaker Michael Mann directs Johnny Depp, Christian Bale and Academy Award® winner Marion Cotillard in the story of legendary Depression-era outlaw John Dillinger (Depp)—the charismatic bank robber whose lightning raids made him the number one target of J. Edgar Hoover’s fledgling FBI and its top agent, Melvin Purvis (Bale), and a folk hero to much of the downtrodden public.


• Marion Cotillard previously starred with Billy Crudup in Big Fish. They have no scenes together in Public Enemies, though.

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From other people

When you see that kind of work, you recognize it for what it is: This is a brilliant, brilliant artist. Even in the smallest gesture or expression, you can tell that there is total truth in what she’s doing; she is completely committed to every single moment. It’s not performance, it’s not artifice. It’s beyond skill.
• Michael Mann (Director)

From Marion Cotillard

She’s a real product of this really tough period in American history. Out of the Depression came all of these people who struggled to live. Billie had no money, and she came from an Indian tribe, which, at the time, was not easy. By the time she came to Chicago and met Dillinger, she had already lived several lives—she had been to military boarding school, to learn military manners, to “get the Indian out.” She’s a mix of someone really sweet and tough.

From reviews

Cotillard, speaking English with just a slight accent, is lovely and fine as the lady who wins the bad man’s heart.
• Variety

Cotillard embodies the film’s inner tensions and Mann’s aesthetic: The role of Billie begins in the key of “cliche gun moll,” but the actress has a way of toughening her up and keeping her honest.
• Chicago Tribune

Oscar talk already has begun to swirl around Miss Cotilliard’s performance, and her closing scene is the film’s most poignant.
• Washington Times

Mann’s focus extends to a love story, with Dillinger entranced by the Indian-American hat check girl Billie Frechette (another dazzling performance by La Vie En Rose’s captivating Oscar winner, Marion Cotillard). Her final scene, an exchange with an FBI agent, produces a depth of emotion that’s hard to match anywhere else in the film.
• The Courier Mail (Australia)

The girl who knocked his socks off was Billie Frechette, alluringly played by Oscar winner Marion Cotillard in her first role since Edith Piaf in the unforgettable La Vie en Rose.
• The New York Observer

As for Cotillard, she may be yet another second-fiddle love interest in a Michael Mann film, but at least her charm and steel give the role needed depth, especially with the love story growing in importance as the film reaches its conclusion.

Dillinger was a gentleman thug, loyal to his friends and to his hat-check girlfriend, Billie Frechette, played by Marion Cotillard with a combination of desperate hope and fear that is enormously appealing.
• The New Yorker

Cotillard is vivid and lovely, and gets one very dramatic scene in an FBI office that just might make you gasp (I did), but the movie’s not as interested in her; Billie is mostly a standard girlfriend role.
• The Seattle Times

The actor also has an intriguing chemistry with French Oscar winner Marion Cotillard as Billie Frechette, the initially reticent coat-check girl who becomes his dazzled lover. Cotillard has a fiery standout moment late in the film, as Billie is captured and brutally interrogated before Purvis intervenes.
• Film Journal International

The relationship between Dillinger and a hatcheck girl named Billie Frechette (Marion Cotillard, holding her own in this man’s world) eats up considerable time, sometimes winningly, though both actors are better when they’re apart.
• The New York Times

Awards & Nominations

= Win = Nomination

None for this performance