Tuesday, 29 November 2011

In Praise of Marion

Looking back at my recent blogs, I sense a hint of nostalgia for filmmakers and actors who were big in the 70s, 80s or 90s but today are on the wane or as in the case with Ken Russell, sadly no longer with us. So in today's blog I want to talk about an actress who is at her peak right now and who I believe is one of the most exciting acting talents in years and that's the Oscar-winning French actress Marion Cottilard.

Though she had strong, critically acclaimed roles in many films in the Noughties, (eg "Big Fish", "Taxi", "A Very Long Engagement") the Paris born actress became famous as a result of her startling Oscar winning performance as Edith Piaf in "La Vie En Rose" (2007). Her transformation from her normal beautiful self to the haggard and emotionally damaged Edith Piaf was astonishing and utterly convincing as was her singing in the role. The Academy of Motion Pictures and Sciences noted her performance and in 2008, she became the first actress to ever win the Best Actress Oscar for a French speaking role.

This breakthrough led to Marion being cast as John Dillinger's girlfriend in Michael Mann's big budget gangster film "Public Enemies" in 2009. With an Oscar under her belt and now starring opposite Johnny Depp and Christian Bale, Marion was now firmly established in Hollywood and proved herself just as adept as acting in English as she was in French.

After "Public Enemies", many roles followed, including a major role in the stylish musical "Nine" opposite Daniel Day Lewis and as mentioned in a previous blog, the lead part in David Lynch's short film "Lady Blue Shanghai" which was made for Dior. However, after "La Vie En Rose", her biggest film to date is  Christopher Nolan's "Inception" where she starred opposite Leonardo Di Caprio and which was one of the biggest grossing films of 2010. It went on to win three Oscars for sound, sound editing and visual effects in 2011.

Marion's next landmark film looks set to be another colloboration with Christopher Nolan in the third of his Batman films "The Dark Knight Rises" which is set to be released in 2012. Now established as one of the world's leading actresses, I expect even greater things from Marion Cottilard in the future.

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