Sunday, November 18, 2007


I'd like to announce a new feature here at "Marion Cotillard's Road to Oscar," or as the cool kids call it, MCRO (I just made that up, by the way). I'm very keen on visiting various sites and I've come across several individuals whose opinion I highly value and whose work I thoroughly admire. So, in order to get varied perspectives on Marion Cotillard's work, I've asked several folks to contribute a column to MCRO.

I'm kicking off the series with a guest column from webmistress extraordinaire, Maria. As many of you know, Maria runs "Magnifique Marion Cotillard," which is the best Marion-focused website out there.

Without further ado, here's our very first Guest Columnist:

Hi! My name is Maria and I’m in awe of Marion Cotillard's amazing acting talent which has been documented in a number of French films of recent years. In La Vie en Rose finally it has been made known to the whole world what a talented actress Marion Cotillard is. I run Magnifique Marion Cotillard and am very honoured to have the opportunity to speak here on this blog - which I'm regularly visiting and loving!

Miss Cotillard received one of the first opportunities to showcase her talent to a broader audience with the double role of the identical twins Marie and Lucie in Les Jolies Choses. The film was released on DVD with English subtitles on November 6 in the United States. Although I had seen the film a number of times on a French DVD and was deeply impressed with Marion Cotillard's performance I was very glad for the opportunity to understand all of the dialogue with the additional help of subtitles.

What is the film al about? I’ll try to summarize as best as I can. Lucie is the sister who's living in Paris and dreaming of becoming an actress. Reality is a lot harder than imagined, though and she makes a living appearing in rather dubious video clips. Then one day she gets the opportunity to make a record. She can't sing to save her life, though. On the other hand, her twin sister Marie has an amazing voice. So Marie gets called to Paris to give a live performance while Lucie stays home. However, seeing each other again brings back Lucie’s memories of their childhood and their father's preferential treatment of Marie, which triggers her suicide.

Having tasted what success and fame must feel like, Marie decides to take her sister's place. The "quiet, reserved model of austerity" is convinced becoming the "bimbo" her sister was isn't all that difficult and wants to use her to make loads of money. After all, it was Lucie who always stole what mattered from Marie. Clearly the 2 sisters share a love/hate relationship. While Marie (as Lucie) embarks on a journey to fame and success she gets more than she bargained for. Not only does she learn that all that glitters is not gold but she's also constantly facing the demons of her sister's and their shared past.

Let me say first what I think doesn't work in the film. First, the evil father - he never becomes more than a one-dimensional character that is supposedly one if not the root of the sisters’ psychological problems. Second, the sex & drug lifestyle - although I've come to accept and understand these aspects of the film I still feel it is over the top and not exactly a mirror of Marie's journey. Supposedly the dark side that comes with celebrity is there to showcase Marie's abyss of losing her twin sister and going from hating her to discovering who she was and then to becoming a person of her own.

Now, what does work? A lot! Most of all Marion Cotillard. I would even go as far as to say I wouldn't like the film without her. She brings - as always - such a depth to Lucie, Marie, and Marie as Lucie. While at times I had a hard time following what the script wanted me to believe, I always ended up doing so because of Marion Cotillard's performance. We get to see all sides of the sister's characters and also see the whole range of emotions, she is hopeful, hurt, strong, sexy, exploited, scared, shy, angst-ridden, desperate, mourning, etc.

Early on in the film, when we see Marie giving the concert in her sister's place, we already know Marion Cotillard has a great voice. But it is nothing compared to one of the final scenes in the film where Marie is giving a proper concert as successful singer sensation Lucie F. What an amazing voice and charisma! It only makes me want to see Marion Cotillard really doing the upcoming film musical “Nine.” Additionally, the whole supporting cast is great. Especially Stomy Bugsy as friend and advisor to both sisters and Patrick Bruel as the music producer.

This film is a must-see for any admirer of Marion Cotillard and her talent and I recommend you immediately go out and buy or at least rent it! You wont't regret it.

-Thanks for your contribution, Maria! And guys, make sure to check out "Magnifique Marion Cotillard."


k_obrien said...

Les Jolies Choses has been added to my netflix queue. Great write-up.

sartre said...

Hi Dorothy, have you seen the above interview?

Cotillard-Admin said...

Hi sartre, nice seeing you around these parts :) Thanks for the heads up. I just posted it here. Lovely little interview.

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