Marion Cotillard

Two Days One Night

“The only way to stop crying is to fight for your job.” One can rarely accuse Belgian filmmakers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne of cutting to the chase, but less than ten minutes pass in Two Days, One Night before Manu (Fabrizio Rongione) plainly explains to Sandra (Marion Cotillard) — and the viewer — what she must do: spend the weekend convincing her colleagues that they should forsake their bonuses so she can keep her job at a local solar panel manufacturer. It’s the closest thing the Dardennes have had to a high-concept premise. These Belgian brothers specialize in unscored, handheld dramas about their country’s working class, and while Days is no exception in its naturalistic depiction of low-key economic concerns, it does offer a simple hook and a bonafide movie star. One can hardly say the same for L’Enfant or The Kid with a Bike (no offense, Cécile De France). However, said hook can be a hard one to swallow. Unless European companies specialize in pitting their employees against one another, the premise is both contrived and repetitive, as Sandra must urge a majority of sixteen co-workers to leave their much-needed thousand-Euro bonuses on the table. It’s not their fault, after all, that boss Dumont (Baptiste Sornin) has forced them to make such a harsh choice, or that foreman Jean-Marc (Olivier Gourmet) has convinced some that they’ll be on the chopping block should she stay.

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The Weinstein Company

The Immigrant is a film of faces. That may seem simple, and perhaps it is, but James Gray‘s newest film does not try to be inscrutable. This is one of the virtues of melodrama, the raw and transparent quality of its emotion beaming from close-ups of the human face. Marion Cotillard‘s open, Catholic performance falls about her eyes, somewhere between Maria Falconetti and a Merchant Ivory adaptation of an Edith Wharton novel. Joaquin Phoenix‘s brow, meanwhile, seems ever wider and more brutal as he oscillates between compassion and selfish violence. Jeremy Renner wears eyeliner, like the star of a theoretically possible Mike Leigh film about Yiddish vaudeville entertainers. The plot is relatively straightforward, even initially cliché. Cotillard is Ewa, a woman just off the boat from Poland, with her sister Magda in tow. Yet when the Ellis Island officials notice that Magda is ill she is rushed off to the infirmary, where she will recuperate or face deportation. Ewa, meanwhile, is put in a precarious position by a vaguely-alluded-to incident on her journey that has cast her as a “woman of low morals.” Threatened with deportation herself, she appeals to a passing American for help.

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Blood Ties

Writer/director James Gray has explored brotherhood with real depth over his career. From We Own the Night to the  The Yards, Gray shows a deep understanding for unconditional love. He knows how to make cliches feel honest, like two brothers on the opposite sides of the law. Gray slyly subverted that idea in We Own the Night, a drama that went unnoticed in 2007. Blood Ties, which Gray co-wrote with the film’s director Guillaume Canet, will likely go unnoticed as well, but for very different reasons. Unlike We Own the Night, Canet’s film shows no interest in reinventing the wheel or putting down any personal stamp. When the protagonists at the center of Blood Ties make the tough decisions, Gray and Canet are unwilling to do the same with their by-the-number crime picture. Ever since Chris (Clive Owen) and Frank (Billy Crudup) were kids they’ve been different. Chris was the troublemaker of the two, while Frank followed the rules. Neither of them changed their ways as they grew older. At the start of the film Frank is released from prison. He’s been away so long that his kids, who are quickly pushed aside after one scene, don’t even recognize him. Chris can’t find a decent job, owes a ton in child support, and has to live with his brother, who’s now a straight and narrow cop.

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immigrant

Does it sound like a super-dramatic period piece featuring beautiful, warm cinematography and starring first-rate actors like Joaquin Phoenix, Marion Cotillard, and Jeremy Renner would be the sort of thing that you’d be interested in? Then you’re probably going to want to watch the trailer for co-writer/director James Gray’s (We Own the Night, Two Lovers) new film, The Immigrant. It tells a complex tale that involves starting over in a new land, searching for lost family members, sex trafficking, and the seedy world of stage magicians. The Immigrant’s basic setup seems to be that Cotillard is the title character, who has traveled to 1920s New York in order to find a better life, Phoenix is a sleazy pimp, who offers to provide her this new life but ends up exploiting her, and Renner is a mustachioed gentlemen, who, upon meeting her, attempts to liberate her from the unseemly situation in which she’s found herself. Click through to give the movie a try, but be warned—this is an international trailer, so it features bare bosoms and, even worse, French subtitles.

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cotillard

Seeing as Lady Macbeth is one of the most infamous and memorable characters who has appeared in all of Shakespeare’s works, and she’s a domineering woman who leads her confused husband down a dark path of ambition-driven bad decision making, any successful production of the story needs to find as powerful an actress as it can possibly acquire to play her. That includes director Justin Kurzel’s (The Snowtown Murders) upcoming film adaptation of the story, which currently has Michael Fassbender attached in the lead role of the would-be King of Scotland. Kurzel’s first move when it came to filling the Lady Macbeth role was to sign up Natalie Portman, but when she had to eventually drop out of the project he suddenly got sent back to the drawing board. Well, Deadline is reporting that another round of searching for an actress with that certain je ne sais quoi needed to pull the role off is over, and this time around he’s decided to sign up bewitching French actress Marion Cotillard.

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The Immigrant

James Gray has steadily gained a head of steam over the four pictures he has released to date, culminating with the grand critical success of his compelling 2008 romantic drama Two Lovers. With another film again appearing In Competition at Cannes, Gray raises the curtain on what is easily his most-anticipated work to date, The Immigrant, which has previously gone by the names The Nightingale and Lowlife, though has no doubt landed on its final moniker for ripe positioning by the Weinstein Company in the impending awards season. As soon as Polish immigrant Ewa Cybulski (Marion Cotillard) and her sister Magda (Angela Sarafyan) arrive in the United States, their circumstances are dire. Magda is immediately quarantined with tuberculosis, while Ewa is questioned for reportedly being a “woman of bad morals,” due to her apparent conduct on the ship over from Europe. Appearing sympathetic to her plight, Bruno Weiss (Joaquin Phoenix) bribes an official to allow Ewa passage, at which point he introduces her to his Prohibition-era bar and theater, and soon enough has her turning tricks in his employ. As Ewa finds little possibility to escape from this life, only Bruno’s magician cousin Orlando (Jeremy Renner) seems to offer any respite, locking the two in a fierce battle over the woman.

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Guillaume Canet earned the goodwill of many with his immensely potent 2006 thriller Tell No One, before the misjudged – and like this film, much too long – Little White Lies came along and eroded plenty of that promise. However, Canet returns with his latest feature, and the busload-full of skilled actors he has brought with him damn near ensures a compelling sit, even if the film’s ponderous pacing and resulting length do detract somewhat from its finer qualities. A remake of 2008′s French film Rivals – which starred Canet himself – Blood Ties begins in 1974 New York as Chris (Clive Owen) is released from prison after a 12-year-stint for murder. While welcomed warmly by his father (James Caan), Chris is received less so by his brother, Frank (Billy Crudup), a respected policeman who is nevertheless called upon by his family to take him in. Adding to the drama is the litany of anguished lovers sitting on the periphery; Chris shacks up with a gorgeous young receptionist named Monica (Mila Kunis), much to the chagrin of his drug-addled hooker ex-wife Monica (Marion Cotillard), while Frank continues to pine for a former flame he broke it off with, Vanessa (Zoe Saldana), whose current relationship with the dangerous Scarfo (Matthias Schoenaerts) is on the rocks.

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Clive and Mila

If the Cannes Film Festival is good for anything, it’s letting a select few people see great movies that the rest of us are going to have to wait months to get our eyeballs on. In one respect it’s a tantalizing glimpse at our film future, and in the other it’s a torturous tease that only gives us whispers about unattainable pleasures. Every once in a while a film debuting at Cannes will at least release a trailer around the same time though, so those of us not at the festival can get a taste of what we’re missing, and this seems to be the case with Guillaume Canet’s first English-language film as a director, Blood Ties. You should be warned that there’s some naughty language in the clip that lies below, but if that isn’t the sort of thing that offends you, then you’re going to want to click through and watch, because Blood Ties is a 70s-set crime drama that stars Clive Owen, Mila Kunis, Billy Crudup, Marion Cotillard, Zoe Saldana, Matthias Schoenaerts, and James Caan, and if you’re not willing to admit that you have a crush on at least a handful of those people, then you’re just a liar. A stinking liar.

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quvenzhane-wallis

What is Casting Couch? It’s full of casting news, just full of it. Today you can find out what’s next for foreign heartthrobs Michael Roskam and Marion Cotillard. Quvenzhané Wallis has been in the news a lot lately. Not only did the adorable nine-year-old stir up some controversy at Sunday’s Oscar ceremony by skinning a puppy and wearing it as a purse, she’s also been the subject of rumors regarding the Will Smith-produced remake of Annie. After Smith’s daughter Willow dropped out of the film’s starring role because she’s probably in her twenties now or something, it was rumored that Wallis would be stepping in to take her place. Deadline now confirms that this is indeed the case, and Wallis is all set to become the new face of everyone’s favorite orphan. Easy A’s Will Gluck will direct her.

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Peter Dinklage

What is Casting Couch? It’s the casting news roundup that has news about what the lovely Marion Cotillard is going to be lovelying up with her lovely self next. It seems like Bryan Singer’s plan for promoting his upcoming X-Men sequel, X-Men: Days of Future Past, is to leak a little bit of news about it on his Twitter account every day between now and when it actually gets released. The latest bone he’s throwing us is that Game of Thrones star Peter Dinklage has joined his rapidly-expanding cast. What role Dinklage will be playing Singer hasn’t yet revealed, which, of course, has sent the entire Internet scrambling to see how many Marvel characters they can name that might even slightly resemble a dwarf. From obscure Canadian heroes to Captain America villains, they’ve covered them all, but nobody has yet to predict anything that makes any sense. Here’s an interesting prediction to throw out there: maybe he’s just going to play some dude? Variety, however, seems to think he’s playing the villain. 

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The Best Damn Oscar Blog

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences loves the French. The nation has racked up 36 nominations for Best Foreign Language Film over the years, which is more than half the number of times the Academy has given the award. French-language films regularly appear outside of that category as well – the very first nomination for a foreign film was a nod for Best Art Direction to À Nous la Liberté in 1932. Oscar has been a Francophile since the very beginning, and it doesn’t look like he’s going to get sick of them any time soon. As far as I’m concerned, this leaves a single burning question about this year’s race. Yes, I suppose one could wonder in great detail about Amour’s Best Picture and Best Director chances, but at this point I think it definitely gets both. The real fun is in the Best Actress category. (Isn’t it always?) Both Emmanuelle Riva and Marion Cotillard are serious contenders, enormously talented actors who have delivered some of their best work in some this year’s most-lauded French-language films. However, is it possible for two French actresses to make it in the same category? How much cachet do they really have?

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Jacques Audiard’s Rust and Bone is a beautifully shot film, filled with unexpected turns, raw scenes of bloody violence and emotion, and contains some of the best performances of the year. Based on Craig Davidson’s short story collection of the same name, the film focuses on aimless sometimes-professional fighter Ali (Matthias Schoenaerts) and his adorable five-year-old son Sam (the gifted Armand Verdure in his film début), who are in somewhat dire straits. Ali has just recently taken responsibility for the boy from his mother (who is never seen) and feeds him from other people’s garbage that he finds on a train they take en route to live with his sister Louise (Céline Sallette). When working as a bouncer at a club one evening, Ali intervenes in a scuffle involving the beautiful Stéphanie (Marion Cotillard), who he eventually drives home. She lives with her boyfriend, but Ali still leaves his number in case she ever needs him. As it turns out, she does. Stéphanie is an orca trainer at Marineland and an accident causes her to wake up in a hospital with her two legs amputated. Depressed and alone, she calls Ali on a whim, and the two become deeply intertwined as they suffer through their personal demons and give each other a certain greater purpose. Ali feeds off the violent energy of his bloody, bareknuckle fights, while Stéphanie craves the charge of working with the dangerous orcas, but they are able to satiate certain needs through each other’s company.

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Rust and Bone follows the character of Alain (Matthias Schoenaerts) as he tries to make his way through life as best he can. We first see him with his son, Sam (Armand Verdure), on a train, collecting scrap food from receptacles. They’re heading towards his sister, Anna (Corinne Masiero), who he’s planning to stay with for a while. He ends up getting a job with a security company and has a chance encounter with a woman, Stephanie (Marion Cotillard), who trains whales at a water park. There is an accident at the park, and Stephanie ends up losing her legs. The film takes us through Alain’s experiences as he sees all of these relationships through. Alain is a character of much contrivance. He comes off mostly as a drifter with little to his name. His inability to pity Stephanie is what benefits her as we watch her recovery, but at the same time we see him have the same approach to how he handles his relationship with his sister and his five-year-old son. His response to anything he can’t quite control is to lash out at it, with scenes of him shouting and punishing his child. In one moment we see him throw his son across the room, and the child ends up hitting his head on a table. We see so many moments in which he’s being loving and compassionate, but in times when things aren’t good he almost can’t manage to keep being loving.

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Rust and Bone

Here in the U.S. a lot of casual hate gets aimed at the French. The jokes are usually about surrendering during wars, hairy ladies, or what have you—the lame jokes aren’t important—it’s the “what have you done for me lately” attitude they reveal that’s important. Sure, the French gave us the Statue of Liberty all those years ago, but what have those cheese nibblers done for us lately? Turns out, quite a lot. And probably the three best things they’ve given us over the course of the last half decade or so are screenings of Jacques Audiard’s Un Prophète, Marion Cotillard’s stunning face, and M83’s stellar last few albums. For these things we should be grateful, and because the trailer for Rust & Bone reveals to us a new Audiard movie that contains both the music of M83 and the luminous face of Cotillard, we should be ecstatic. Pretty music and pretty faces aren’t the only thing Rust & Bone has to offer either, turns out it’s got a pretty crazy-sounding story as well. Though the new trailer for the film is a little abstract, and completely without dialogue, we already know that the plot details the life of a whale trainer (Cotillard) who loses her legs and then falls into a relationship with an underground fighter (Matthias Schoenaerts). Which, you know, is nothing if not unique.

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Foreign Objects - Large

The difference between friends and lovers is usually penetration, but even that isn’t a hard line distinction. Intimacy goes beyond sex, especially when it comes to the closest of friends, but no matter how open people are with each other there are always truths they keep hidden. Truths, and lies. Ludo (Jean Dujardin) makes his rounds through a packed bar, drinking, snorting and leering along the way, before heading outside at the first hint of dawn. He hops onto his scooter and heads home through the quiet streets of Paris. And is promptly slammed into by a large truck. Max (Francois Cluzet) and his wife Veronique (Valerie Bonneton), Vincent (Benoit Magimel) and his wife Isabelle (Pascale Arbillot), Antoine (Laurent Lafitte), Marie (Marion Cotillard) and Eric (Gilles Lellouche) all had vacation plans that included Ludo, but they decide it would be best if they went on without him instead of hanging around his hospital bed. The group of friends head to Max’s beach-side villa in the South of France for good times and fun in the sun, but soon the lies they’ve been telling themselves and each other come pouring out as freely as the wine.

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Little White Lies

The trailer for director Guillaume Canet‘s film Little White Lies starts off with some rock ‘n’ roll and a party atmosphere. A boat cuts through beautiful waves, a group of friends yells with delight while celebrating each other on the beach, and then a motorcycle is demolished by a speeding service truck. That terrible accident acts as the catalyst for a host of secret feelings and emotional outbursts that  emerge to threaten friendships. However, it sounds more like dramedy than all out melodrama. Starring Oscar winners Marion Cotillard and Jean Dujardin alongside the impeccable talents of Francois Cluzet, Benoit Magimel, Gilles Lellouche and others, the movie from the man behind Tell No One looks like a stunner of an ensemble achievement. At the very least, it looks like it will be at home during awards season. Check out the trailer for yourself:

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Two TV spots, new pictures, and banners from The Dark Knight Rises? What else could you ask for in about a day’s time? To make that month and a half wait we have left until the film finally opens a little more tolerable, there’s plenty to chew on and savor here. In usual Christopher Nolan cult fan fashion, it’ll be interesting to see how the fandom dissects the meaning of Joseph Gordon-Levitt “kneeling,” what secret Bruce Wayne and Miranda Tate are “talking” about, or what Selina Kyle is really looking at. These new pictures and posters (courtesy of Empire) don’t give us the answers we need, but some message boards out there will most likely come up with countless theories over the matter. First up, here’s a slew of gritty pics, all featuring nothing but gumdrop smiles and a much needed reminder of Nolan’s undying love for “happy” characters:

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Rust and Bone could well have failed. In many other hands the story of a killer whale trainer who loses her legs but finds strength and her resurrection in an unlikely relationship with an underworld bare knuckle boxer with a good heart…well, it could have been a monstrous amalgamation of Rocky meets Free Willy with the contrived over-sentimentality of Steel Magnolias. But in the hands of Un Prophet‘s excellent helmer Jacques Audiard, the film swerves the “cancer story”/Oscar baiting stigma that some will accuse it of thanks to a simple but engaging central story and two award-worthy performances from its central actors. Marion Cotillard plays said whale trainer – Stephanie – who loses her legs after a performance accident, and who regresses rapidly to a self-destructive stagnating state, but who finds hope and the capacity for her own resurrection through a relationship with Matthias Schoenaerts‘ bare-knuckle boxer Ali, who lives hand to mouth by any means before his underworld fights offer him and his son some opportunities for a slightly better life. Having briefly met Stephanie before her accident, Alain helps her to find herself again not through pandering or pity, but simply by offering his help and his company, and you have to give credit to Audiard that his story never strays towards saccharine, made-for-TV style sentimentality.

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What is Movie News After Dark? Like a giddy schoolgirl come home to tell her diary the news of the day, it’s excited to share with you all that has happened while you were paying attention to other, more important things. We begin with the news of the night: Marion Cotillard has confirmed that she’s not Talia Al Ghul in The Dark Knight Rises, her long rumored role. She will instead play Miranda Tate, a ecologically minded businesswoman who “is fascinated by Wayne Enterprises. They go through difficulties, and she wants to help provide the world clean energies. She’s a good guy.” Or a good lady. Which is it, Ms. Cotillard?! If that is your real name! 

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When a young executive (Gwyneth Paltrow) returns from a business trip to China, she returns with a bad cough and even worse headaches. Not long after, her young son appears to exhibit the same symptoms. Before her husband, the boy’s step-father played by Matt Damon, can even whip up a bowl of chicken soup, the boy and his mother are dead. The doctors are baffled by the mysterious disease, and soon more cases turn up around the world and scores of people begin dying. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as The World Health Organization work to their furthest limitations trying to identify the disease, track its spread, and develop a cure. In many ways, this film is the essence of drama – an examination of what it is that connects people. The word contagion by its definition is the communication, or sharing, of a disease, and Contagion connects us through the most ubiquitous objects in our daily lives. Director Steven Soderbergh lingers on shots of coffee cups, subway handrails, and doorknobs; silently inviting us to ponder on all previous users. This device is microcosmic of his larger mission: to illustrate how a singular event can connect people of divergent backgrounds, nationalities, cultures, and personalities. This is nothing new for Soderbergh, as he used the flow of narcotics into the U.S. to create connections between very different people in Traffic. He also examines how bureaucracy and the media would factor into a global catastrophe just as much […]

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