Tag: De Rouille et d’Os

‘Unusual love story’ moved Cotillard

MARION COTILLARD has been working as an actress since she was a teenager, but it was her Oscar-winning performance as Edith Piaf in “La Vie en Rose” that brought her to the attention of American audiences – and Hollywood filmmakers.

Since then she’s worked with directors such as Michael Mann (“Public Enemies”), Woody Allen (“Midnight in Paris”), Steven Soderbergh (“Contagion”) and Christopher Nolan (“Inception,” “The Dark Knight Rises”).

In “Rust and Bone,” she returns to France for an intimate relationship movie about a whale trainer and the fighter who sort of nurses her back to health after an accident at the Sea World-like water show where she works.

The Daily News spoke with Cotillard at the Intercontinental Hotel in September during the Toronto International Film Festival.

She said her shooting schedule was so tight when “Rust and Bone” was filmed that she didn’t have time for her usual amount of preparation.

“I had like three or four days of training,” she said, “learning the choreography and approaching the orcas and feeding them. It was kind of easy for me, but I don’t have a reference.

“I love wild animals,” she added, “but it was hard to consider the whales as wild when they’re in a swimming pool. But that’s another subject.”

After a few big movies, Cotillard was attracted to the intimacy and rawness of the “Rust and Bone” script.

“I was very moved,” she said. “I thought it was a very unusual love story – a beautiful one. And I was very excited by the subject and the vision that [director] Jacques Audiard [“A Prophet”] would have of it. Because I saw all his movies, and he had never given his vision of a love story before.

“Normally, I hate to do love scenes. I don’t know who loves doing them. But in this movie,” Cotillard said, “it was not so hard because the flesh, the blood, the body, the love, is the subject of the movie. And it’s what my character needs too. So it was actually kind of easy to do.

“I love the first love scene – it’s a mix of drama and comedy and it’s very moving, and at the same time you want to laugh because of the situation. And also, Matthias [Schoenaerts] is an amazing actor to work with. In a way I was so happy for my character. I know it’s a little weird to talk that way about a character, but I was.”

Cotillard has two more films completed and awaiting release, including “Blood Ties” with director Guillaume Canet, her longtime boyfriend and the father of her son, Marcel. At the moment, though, there are no new projects on the horizon.

After completing 11 features since 2010, Cotillard is on holiday, grateful that her career has gone so well that she has the opportunity to unwind.

“I decided to take some time off without having to think about what’s next,” she said, “because otherwise it’s not really time off. . . . Now I’m really looking forward to finding something that will give me the desire to go back to work.”

The Argument: Marion Cotillard, Hollywood’s favourite French actress, gets unleashed in Rust and Bone

The Argument: Marion Cotillard, Hollywood’s favourite French actress, gets unleashed in Rust and Bone

The first time I saw Marion Cotillard in the flesh was at this year’s TIFF. The jaw-droppingly gorgeous French actress was standing atop a long flight of stairs inside Michael’s on Simcoe. She was in town for the gala presentation of Rust and Bone, a dark and visceral French romance adapted from a collection of short stories by Toronto author Craig Davidson and directed by Jacques Audriard. In the film, she plays a killer whale trainer at Marineland who loses her legs in a freak accident involving an aquatic animal routine gone very, very wrong.

I happened to be coming up the stairs at Michael’s just as Cotillard, wearing bright blue and yellow satin heels, was about to go down. I saw the shoes before I saw the woman wearing them, and was about to compliment her when our eyes met, and I realized I was standing there with my one and only celebrity crush. I instantly froze. And then turned into a pile of mush.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not obsessed with Cotillard in a creepy stalker way—not like the New York woman who recently pleaded guilty to sending the actress more than 500 emails, plus over 100 web videos of her (the stalker, not Cotillard) hissing like a cat and talking about playing Russian roulette. My crush is much more innocuous. It started nearly a decade ago when I saw her in the dark French comedy Jeux d’enfants, in which she plays a fiery woman who falls for her handsome best friend, played by the heartthrob (and Cotillard’s real-life partner) Guillaume Canet. She had me at bonjour.

With Rust and Bone, which hits theatres this month, Cotillard is an early contender for a Best Actress Oscar. She’s already won the big prize once, for her depiction of Édith Piaf in 2007’s La Vie en rose, which captured the conflicted chanteuse’s messy, selfish and tragic existence with an irrepressible intensity and almost eerie realism. She’s only the third French actress to take home the award—after Claudette Colbert, for 1934’s It Happened One Night, and Simone Signoret, for 1959’s Room at the Top—and the first to win for a French-language performance.

At the time, she could barely speak enough English to cobble together an acceptance speech, offering little more than a string of bumbled clichés and stunned thank yous. Five years later, she’s the public face of Rust and Bone for the film’s North American tour. At the TIFF screening, she deftly translated Audiard’s opening remarks, charming the capacity crowd.

Cotillard has come a long way in such a short time, and not just linguistically. Her post-Piaf resumé is a catalogue of big-name Hollywood directors—Michael Mann, Rob Marshall, Woody Allen, Steven Soderbergh. Not to mention her most high-profile role to date, as Bruce Wayne’s mysterious romantic interest in The Dark Knight Rises, for which director Christopher Nolan adjusted the shooting schedule purely to accommodate Cotillard, who was pregnant with her first child.

And yet Hollywood doesn’t quite know what to do with her. In the European films where I like her best, Cotillard is often cast as powerful, complicated women—roles that allow her to contrast an inner turmoil with her serene outer beauty. On this continent, she still gets stuck playing the foil to more
magnificent men.

We got a taste of Cotillard unleashed in Nolan’s Inception, in which she played Leo­nardo DiCaprio’s dead wife, who haunts his dreams with ever-greater maliciousness. Every move she makes in the film insinuates violence, every facial expression is a threat. She channels that same intensity in the musical Nine, in which she cuts down her philandering husband, played by Daniel Day-Lewis, with a sassy striptease. Both roles hint at Cotillard’s range, and yet neither captures her at her best.

Rust and Bone is the kind of character-driven drama that allows Cotillard to be raw, ragged and a little ferocious. After the grisly accident with the whale, Cotillard’s character awakens in a hospital room and slowly becomes aware that she’s a double-amputee. She screams and hurls herself from her bed to the floor, writhing in agony. Her pain is so palpable it makes you squirm in your seat. She is slowly restored by a friendship-cum-romance with a drifting street fighter and deadbeat dad (played with brute force by Belgian-born dreamboat Matthias Schoenaerts).

The role of a tragically disabled person who finds love and the will to survive sounds like shameless Oscar bait, but Cotillard makes the melodramatic scenario feel real. Her performance doesn’t come off as capital-A Acting—it’s as if you are witnessing someone’s most private moments. When she and Schoenaerts’ character finally have sex, the moment is entirely unsexy. She wants to know if she is still capable of engaging in intimate physical acts, and he, rather perfunctorily, obliges.

It’s the kind of scene that couldn’t happen in any of the blockbusting popcorn flicks that characterize her newfound Tinseltown career, but it’s one that shows exactly what she is capable of. There aren’t any bat-suited superheroes in Rust and Bone. What it does have is the real Marion—the one capable of reducing a man to nothing more than mush.

Marion Cotillard & Rust and Bone nominated for Prix Lumières

L’Académie des Lumières announced their nominations for the Lumières awards yesterday – these could be called the French Golden Globes as they’re given out by the foreign press. ‘Rust and Bone‘ (De rouille et d’os) is dominating the list:

Best film
Les Adieux à La Reine, Benoît Jacquot
Amour, Michael Haneke
Camille Redouble, Noémie Lvovsky
Holy Motors, Leos Carax
De Rouille Et D’Os, Jacques Audiard

Best Director
Jacques Audiard, De Rouille Et D’Os

Leos Carax, Holy Motors
Michael Haneke, Amour
Noémie Lvovsky, Camille Redouble
Cyril Mennegun, Louise Wimmer

Best Screenplay
Jacques Audiard, Thomas Bidegain, De Rouille Et D’Os

Leos Carax, Holy Motors
Benoit Jacquot, Gilles Taurand, Les Adieux à La Reine
Noémie Lvovsky, Maud Ameline, Pierre-Olivier Mattéi, Florence Seyvos, Camille Redouble
Valerie Zenatti, Thierry Binisti, Une Bouteille à La Mer

Best Actress
Marion Cotillard, De Rouille Et D’Os

Catherine Frot, Les Saveurs Du Palais
Noemie Lvovsky, Camille Redouble
Corinne Masiero, Louise Wimmer
Emmanuelle Riva, Amour

Best Actor
Guillaume Canet, Une Vie Meilleure
Denis Lavant, Holy Motors
Jérémie Rénier, Cloclo
Mathias Schoenaerts, De Rouille Et D’Os
Jean Louis Trintignant, Amour

The 18èmes Trophées Des Lumières 2013 ceremony will be held on January 18 at the Gaîté lyrique in Paris.

The other major French awards, the Césars – the French Oscars – will announce their nominations on January 25 and the winners on February 22.

‘Rust and Bone’s’ Marion Cotillard dives head-first into roles

‘Rust and Bone’s’ Marion Cotillard dives head-first into roles

‘She’s not holding anything back,’ says ‘Rust and Bone’ costar Matthias Schoenaerts of Marion Cotillard, who plays an animal trainer recovering from the loss of her legs.

She’s described by director Jacques Audiard as “a diver,” someone who “throws herself into a role head first.”

So it’s believable that the very first scene Marion Cotillard shot for “Rust and Bone” was the most harrowing one, in which she awakes in a hospital after an accident to discover that both her legs are gone.

Her reaction is partly improvised — she leaps from the bed only to wind up crawling on the floor and sobbing in the arms of a friend who rushes to her aid.

“My feeling was that, in that situation, which is so violent and horrifying, the shock must be so strong that you’re in denial,” says the acclaimed French actress over coffee at the Chateau Marmont. “And you have to know — even if you don’t want to — whether it’s really true, so you would try to walk. And that’s when you find out.”

In person, Cotillard appears delicate and simple, her blue-gray eyes expressive, her remarkable beauty enhanced only by pale lip gloss and a hint of smoky eye shadow. Arriving for an interview, she presents herself straightforwardly, with no need for small talk, like a student sitting for exams. Her English, honed on the sets of recent American blockbusters such as “Inception” and “The Dark Knight Rises,” is nearly flawless.

But as anyone who saw her Oscar-winning performance as Edith Piaf in “La Vie en Rose” can attest, Cotillard is an artist of great emotional complexity, capable of transforming herself completely for a role.

Says Matthias Schoenaerts, her costar in “Rust and Bone,” “With Marion, it’s all-in from the first second. She puts herself in a vulnerable state of being. She’s not holding anything back.”

In “Rust and Bone,” Cotillard plays a trainer of orcas who becomes a double amputee after she is crushed by one of the mammals during a Marineland show. Schoenaerts, the hulking Flemish actor who starred in the Oscar-nominated “Bull Head,” plays a nightclub bouncer whose unsentimental response to her plight appeals to her. Struggling to make his own way in a pitiless world, he proves to be the sturdy crutch she needs as she slowly rejoins the world of the living. They become lovers — damaged souls fighting their way back from a shattered remove to a revelatory intimacy.

“‘Rust and Bone’ is the taste of a punch in the face,” says Audiard, explaining the title of the script he co-wrote with Thomas Bidegain. “You find out what people are made of.”

American filmgoers know Audiard best from “A Prophet,” his potent prison movie that became a foreign-language Oscar nominee in 2009. But Cotillard says she has dreamed of working with her countryman since his first movie in 1994, “See How They Fall,” which she saw three times. So she was willing to take on the role despite crushing time pressures — she had to come straight from the set of Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight Rises,” at a time when she was also a new mother to her son Marcel (now 18 months) with her filmmaker-actor husband, Guillaume Canet.

“I was afraid if I said no, I’d never get the chance again,” she says. She even had to forgo the rehearsal period in which she normally places great stock. “But I remembered that when we shot ‘La Vie en Rose,’ on the fourth day I had to do a major scene when Piaf is already at the end of her life, and that [challenge] put me in a very powerful energy, because you have no choice but to jump into the heart of the movie. And now I kind of like working that way.”

The Paris-born performer grew up surrounded by the arts — both her parents are actors and drama teachers, which makes her choice of career seem inevitable. “When I was younger, I considered a lot of things, but I couldn’t choose, so I thought that being an actor would let me have many lives. It was a way to do all the jobs I wanted to do.”

But being a whale trainer wasn’t a jobshe dreamed of. “I cannot understand how we humans can take these magnificent wild beings and put them in a swimming pool to see them jump for our pleasure,” she says. Within minutes of her arrival at Marineland in Antibes, in the South of France, for the first day of rehearsal, she was required to watch the whales perform for a crowd. “I was jet-lagged and sensitive,” she recalls. A female trainer assigned to work with her on her character asked what she thought. “I didn’t want to be disrespectful,” says Cotillard. “But I said, ‘I’m sorry, but I have to be honest — I hate this situation. I hate to see animals doing clown things. I think it’s horrible.’

“It got better,” Cotillard reports. “But I will never go back to a Marineland, ever.”

Her reaction to spending time in Los Angeles has been much more agreeable. “I love the fact that even though it’s a hectic city, it’s surrounded by nature,” she says. “One of the first houses I rented here, I was welcomed by a raccoon. You go to the beach and see dolphins and whales. I didn’t expect that.”

She relates a powerful memory of her first glimpse of the City of Angels. Close to the end of shooting “La Vie en Rose,” she was driven into L.A. from a location in Joshua Tree. “I saw the city ahead of us, and I felt something very, very strong — a sense that something amazing would happen to me there. Then I laughed at myself, because I was like, ‘Oh, my God, you’re such a dork!’ But it happened to be true,” she says, referring to her Oscar win. “I have a special connection to this city, because L.A. has always treated me very well.”

Interview: Marion Cotillard

Interview: Marion Cotillard

Oscar winner Marion Cotillard talks directors, CGI and why she’s suspicious of big studio movies

Marion Cotillard won an Oscar before she became a star.

The actor now familiar to Christopher Nolan fans as Mal in Inception and Miranda Tate in The Dark Knight Rises grabbed the Academy’s best actress prize for her full-throttle performance in La Vie En Rose (among a select few to do so for a foreign-language performance).

Having graduated to A-list status, Cotillard’s back in the Oscar conversation again, this time for her wrenching turn in Rust And Bone. She plays Stéphanie, an orca trainer who loses her legs in an accident and goes on to redefine her life, stripped of limbs, makeup and vanity.

During an interview at this year’s Toronto Film Festival, Cotillard shrugs off the physical challenge of playing an amputee. She credits CGI wizardry for that part of her performance. The bigger challenge was getting to know her character.

“Stéphanie was totally mysterious to me,” she says in gently accented English. When she told co-writer/director Jacques Audiard (A Prophet) that she didn’t understand her character, he claimed not to understand her either.

“So we took the road to meet her,” says Cotillard, recognizing that comfort with the enigmatic is part of Audiard’s genius. “I realized that part of Stéphanie would stay a mystery, and that’s okay.”

Cotillard stresses the importance of a solid director to lean on, whether in a French art house film or a big-budget extravaganza.

“The first person I do my job for is the director,” she says. Which is probably why her resumé is full of auteurs like Michael Mann, Steven Soderbergh and Woody Allen.

Dark Knight Rises director Nolan has “the spirit of an independent,” says Cotillard. He’s actively involved in every stage of the filmmaking process. On the other hand, she’s uneasy about studio movies – or at least those that seem so to her.

“One day I was offered a dream role in a huge, big American movie,” she says, explaining how her excitement for the project quickly evaporated when she met the director, who came off as a studio tool.

“I felt I had nothing to do in the project,” she says. “And he didn’t know anything about actors because it wasn’t his movie. It was a studio movie. He was there to direct. Direct what? I don’t know, but not me.”

She turned down the role (she won’t reveal the film’s title), even though friends called her crazy. When it turned out to be a massive box office success, Cotillard went to check out what she’d missed.

“It was so bad,” she says, laughing. “Even actors who were good in other movies were so bad [in this]. And I had the explanation: they had no director.” 

Oscar buzz

France entered The Intouchables as its entry in the foreign-language category, but don’t count out Marion Cotillard to score a best actress nod. Sure, she’s got an Oscar on her mantle already, but the Academy loves actors playing characters with disabilities.

Post Archive:

Page 8 of 18 1 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 18