Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Les Jolies Choses (Pretty Things) (2001)

French actress Marion Cotillard took the 2008 Best Actress Academy Award for playing Édith Piaf in La Vie En Rose. She picked up several other prestigious awards for the role. Cotillard embodied the role so extremely that when I saw the actress outside the movie, I didn't recognize her.

Les Jolies Choses is one of her earlier movies. A humble film thatWhatcha looking at? wrestles with sibling rivalry. Marie and Lucie are twins who couldn't be different--Lucie is a friendly, sexual free-spirit to whom people are drawn. Marie is morose, quiet and austere. (Cotillard plays both roles.) When Lucie gets a shot at a possible recording contract, she faces the reality that she cannot sing. She calls in a favor with her twin, although they rarely speak. Talented singer, Marie, stands in for Lucie as Lucie and if they can pull this off, who knows what's next in this love-hate relationship.

Nicolas (Stomy Bugsy) is Lucie's best friend and later gets involved with Marie. The movie gets at the crux of the siblings' dilemma. The plot following what happens between the women, what happens with the record contract and how Nicolas interacts with the twins isn't action-packed. There are less than compelling sub-plots, but the movie holds interest and excels at character development--watching Cotillard develop Lucie's character is worth it.

Director: Gilles Paquet-Brenner

Country: France

Genre: Drama

Minutes: 105 minutes

Scale: 3

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