Today is actress and musician Marion Cotillard’s birthday! She has graced both Hollywood and independent film silver screens in the United States and beyond, as Cotillard was born in Paris, France and grew up in Orléans. The acclaimed actress won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her role as Édith Piaf in La Vie en Rose and earned another Best Actress nomination for her work in the French drama film, Two Days, One Night. Cotillard also received a Golden Globe, a British Academy Film Award, a César Award, and a Lumières Award for La Vie en Rose.
When she was 17, she took her first English-speaking role in the television series, Highlander. Now, her most recent film is Leos Carax’s Annette, which was released this year. The musical psychological drama follows the tumultuous relationship between stand-up comedian “Henry McHenry” (Adam Driver) and famous singer “Ann Desfranoux ”(Cotillard) during their marriage and subsequent birth of their daughter, the titular Annette, who has some very special qualities of her own. The film gives Marion Cotillard the chance to showcase both her beautiful singing voice and acting expertise.
As for French films, she starred in From the Land of the Moon in 2016, which Roza Melkumyan reviewed for FF2 Media. The film centers on a woman who is trapped in an arranged marriage, though she has fallen in love with an injured soldier who fought in the Indochinese War. Roza writes, “The actors in From the Land of the Moon succeed immensely at portraying their characters with an honesty that is deeply moving. Marion Cotillard’s brilliant performance invites the audience to feel empathy for the passionate Gabrielle. The vulnerability and sorrow reflected with such clarity in her eyes allow audiences to truly feel her pain. Àlex Brendemühl manages to make me feel Jose’s own pain, though his character speaks little and remains reserved, with subtle changes in facial expression that reveal his feelings. The cast as a whole skillfully conveys those emotions which are difficult both to endure and to witness. Along with beautiful cinematography – the shots of the lavender fields are especially breathtaking in the sheer vastness they convey – From the Land of the Moon artfully shows the pain and desperation that exist in its characters’ longing for intimacy and love. Though she infuses her film with passion, Garcia, along with collaborator Natalie Carter, communicates the universal desire for a deeper connection and the silent heartbreak that people endure when they fail to achieve it.”
In 2015, Marion Cotillard voice-acted in The Little Prince, alongside a star-studded cast that included Jeff Bridges, Rachel McAdams, Benecio del Toro and Paul Rudd. It is an animated fantasy film based on the book of the same name. Jan Lisa Huttner’s review describes the film as “sensitive and beautifully crafted,” specifically noting one of “the story’s most poignant moments, [where] a ‘Rose’ (Marion Cotillard) teaches the Little Prince how difficult love can be.” Check out the rest of her article on the film here. Happy Birthday, Marion Cotillard!
© Anna Nappi (9/30/21) Special for FF2 Media.
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Featured photo: Marion Cotillard in From the Land of the Moon. IFC Films. All Rights Reserved.