Marion Cotillard’s New Film at Cannes Misses the Mark

Marion Cotillard’s New Film at Cannes Misses the Mark
Not every movie at Cannes is a home run, which was certainly evident from Frère et Soeur. I went into this movie really wanting to love it. It had a compelling premise (a brother and sister who haven’t spoken for decades due to a rivalry), and it stars French gem, the Oscar-winning Marion Cotillard. But in this Arnaud Desplechin-directed feature, Frère et Soeur, everything fell flat. It was too out-there, too melodramatic. Too, well, French. The French journalist sitting beside me noted the same thing when the film ended. I remarked that it was way too long, and the story was a bit bizarre. He smiled, agreed, and said, “It was very French.” Anyone with the guts to create anything earns my respect, and I’m not here to tear down someone else’s work. But I will say that this had the potential to be a great film; however, it just didn’t deliver. Instead, it was one during which 11 – yes, I counted – journalists walked out on the film mid-screening. The attendees at Cannes Film Festival are notoriously ruthless and emotive. They walk out of movies; they boo; they also give a 10-minute standing ovation. They are as heaping in their praise as they are of their distaste. Still from ‘Frère et Soeur.’ Courtesy of The Cannes Film Festival press office Marion Cotillard and co-star Melvil Poupaud play – as the title implies – brother and sister. Frère et Soeur is in the “En Competition” category at the 75th Cannes Film Festival this year, but I do not imagine it will reach great heights within the competition. Alice (Cotillard) is a celebrated actress (in an incident of art imitating life) known for her stage work. Her brother, Louis (Poupaud), also experienced a rise to fame but much later than Alice. “He lived in my shadow,” Alice says. Louis’s profile grew when he began publishing his books and his poetry, and it left Alice seething with jealousy and rage. She tells him on the day he wins an award, “I hate you,” with a smile. We get these glimpses of their past tensions and the present-day incident that brings them together, against their wishes. Louis and Alice – who also have a younger brother – learn that their parents are in a terrible car crash when a truck spun out of control and hit them. Their parents had stopped on the side of the road to help a young woman in trouble.

Lead photo credit : Frère et Soeur Trailer taken from Youtube

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Anne McCarthy is a contributing writer to BBC News, Teen Vogue, The Telegraph, Dance Magazine, and more. She has a Masters in Creative Writing from the University of Westminster and is the Editor in Chief of Fat Tire Tours’ travel blog. She lives in New York City.