West Coast Premiere | France | 2017 | Biopic / Drama | 97 min | In French with English subtitles
Directed by: Mathieu Amalric
Written by: Mathieu Amalric, Philippe Di Folco
Cinematography: Christophe Beaucarne
Film Editing: François Gédigier
Score by: Barbara
Produced by: Patrick Godeau (Waiting For Cinéma, Alicéleo), Gaumont, France 2 Cinéma
Cast: Jeanne Balibar (Barbara), Mathieu Amalric (Yves Zand), Vincent Peirani (Roland Romanelli), Aurore Clément (the mother)
Jeanne Balibar won the César Award for Best Actress for her role as Brigitte, an actress playing real-life chanteuse Barbara, who remains a beloved musical icon in France some 20 years after her death. Brigitte plies her craft, channeling the late singer for the film’s obsessed director… who is played by, none other than, Mathieu Amalric, this film’s real-life director. Add to the mix the fact that Balibar and Amalric have a long professional and personal history and you begin to peel away the many layers of this reflexive cinematic onion. This is not your typical biopic! Rather than attempting to fabricate a pat narrative based on the singer’s life, Amalric prefers to orchestrate a hypnotic pastiche of overlapping gestures, voices and faces. The result is a delicate, intelligent, moving paean to music, cinema and the art-making process, filled with tenderness — indeed love — for both its eponymous subject and its radiant leading lady. No wonder the film was honored with a special Poetry of Cinema Prize at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival.
Mathieu Amalric | Mathieu Amalric is a familiar face to film buffs the world over. After serving as apprentice to director Louis Malle, Amalric was cast in numerous films as an actor and has garnered three César Awards — as Most Promising Actor, for his role in Arnaud Desplechin’s My Sex Life… or How I Got Into an Argument (1996); and as Best Actor for performances in Desplechin’s Kings and Queen (2004) and Julian Schnabel’s The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (2007). He has directed 17 short, feature and documentary films to date, including his feature directorial debut, Mange ta soupe (1997) and the much acclaimed On Tour (2010).
Presented in association with Gaumont