Mood Indigo, AKA L'Écume des Jours, is a film I'm really excited about — dare I say, more than Iron Man 3 (released the same day, on Wednesday, April 24), so I wanted to share my enthusiasm with this presentation.
I know you're probably thinking, "that's cool but I won't be able to see this".
Wrong ! It will just have to be picked up by many countries — say the US : there's Michel Gondry (who did a few successful/renowned films in Hollywood), there's Audrey Tautou (known for her starring role in the 67th best film of all time (so says IMDB), Le Fabuleux Destin d'Amélie Poulain, which grossed $33.2 million in late 2001 in the US, that's huge there for a foreign-speaking film), it's based on a widely popular novel, Boris Vian's Froth of the Daydream / Foam of the Daze, Omar Sy is co-starring (of Intouchables fame, coming soon in X-Men and Stephen Gaghan's Candy Store), it's a fairly big budget and it seems like it will show (it cost €18 million / $23.6 million, that's more than 85% of French films). But just because it seems as moody & poetic as Eternal Sunshine and Amélie, I know L'Écume des Jours will be exported, it's only a matter of time (maybe late 2013 ?).
Directed by Michel Gondry, behind films such as Human Nature, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, La science des rêves, Be Kind Rewind, The Green Hornet and The We and the I, L'écume des jours will star these people (of which I highlight the major films) :
- Audrey Tautou (Vénus Beauté (institut), À la folie... pas du tout, Amélie, Pas sur la bouche, Un long dimanche de fiançailles, Hors de prix, Ensemble c'est tout, Coco avant Chanel, La délicatesse, Thérèse Desqueroux).
- Romain Duris (Le péril jeune, Dobermann, Déjà mort, Peut-être, 17 fois Cécile Cassard, Arsène Lupin, De battre mon coeur s'est arrêté, Molière, Paris, L'arnacoeur, L'homme qui voulait vivre sa vie, Populaire).
- Gad Elmaleh (La vérité si je mens 2, A+ Pollux, Chouchou, La doublure, Hors de prix, Coco, La rafle, Un monstre à Paris (voice), Un bonheur n'arrive jamais seul, Les seigneurs, Le capital).
- Omar Sy (Le carton, Nos jours heureux, Seuls Two, Tellement proches, Lascars (voice), Micmacs à tire-larigot, Intouchables, Les seigneurs, De l'autre coté du périph, Mais qui a re-tué Pamela Rose ?).
- Charlotte Le Bon (Astérix et Obélix - Au service de Sa Majesté, La stratégie de la poussette).
- Aïssa Maïga (Caché, Bamako, Je vais bien ne t'en fais pas, Prête-moi ta main, Ensemble c'est trop, Sur la piste du Marsupilami).
- Philippe Torreton (Capitaine Conan, Ça commence aujourd'hui, Monsieur N., L'équipier, Les Chevaliers du ciel, Présumé coupable, L'ordre et la morale).
- Alain Chabat (La cité de la peur, Gazon maudit, Delphine 1 / Yvan 0, Didier, La goût des autres, Astérix et Obélix - Mission Cléopâtre, Chouchou, Mais qui a tué Pamela Rose ?, RRRrrrr!!!, Ils se marièrent et eurent beaucoup d'enfants, Papa, La science des rêves, Prête-moi ta main, La personne aux deux personnes, La guerre des boutons, Sur la piste du Marsupilami).
[Yep, Alain Chabat was in a lot of good films, I couldn't reduce the list — La Cité de la Peur, Astérix 2 and RRRrrrr!!!!, 3 films he wrote and/or directed and starred in are among my favorite comedies EVER.]
But you might know them from Dirty Pretty Things and The Da Vinci Code for Audrey Tautou, Midnight in Paris, Jack & Jill (!), The Dictator (cameo) and Tintin (voice) for Gad Elmaleh, Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian and A Thousand Words (!) for Alain Chabat, X-Men - First Class: Days of Future Past for Omar Sy (he will probably play Bishop). Aïssa Maïga, Phillipe Torreton and Charlotte Le Bon haven't been in English-speaking films.
Romain Duris' only major role in an English-speaking film was in a little known thriller called Afterwards, which happens to be from a French director (Gilles Bourdos) with a French-speaking cast (Evangeline Lilly, John Malkovitch, Pascale Bussières, and Duris). But to be fair, two famous films in which Duris starred, L'auberge espagnole and Les poupées russes, while being mostly in French, contain chunks of English dialogue — mostly thanks to Kelly Reilly's character. A final film to the trilogy, Casse-tête chinois (Chinese Puzzle), will be released December 4 in France : Romain Duris, Audrey Tautou (yep, she's in this one too), Cécile de France and Kelly Reilly all come back in this conclusion to Xavier's story, set partially in Chinatown, Manhattan (after Barcelona and St. Petersburg in the first two installments). You should watch these films and, like me, be impatient to see the final one.
Until then, Romain Duris and Audrey Tautou are starring in L'écume des jours, which will be 2h 05mn long.
Chick (0:10) : Is this your new cook?
Colin : My lawyer and maître à penser. He cooks to unwine.
Jules Gouffé : See you at the fridge.
Colin (0:19) : You need to see my piano. Every touch matches a flavour, a liquor or a spice. We get a nostalgic taste for a minor chord. Um, you've made some bad keys.
Chick : Let's say 2-3 personal keys.
Colin : You look happy.
Chick : I've met someone.
Colin : Oh c'mon that sucks, this feeling of loneliness! I too demand to fall in love!
Nicolas (0:37) : There's an adequate dance tonight, at yours truly.
Isis : Chloé, this is Colin. Colin, here's Chloé.
Colin : Okay I'm totally ridiculous. Can I go, please?
Chloé (whispering) : Could you stay, please?
Chloé (0:55) : That was rather short.
Isis (1:11) : Chloé's not feeling well.
Nicolas : Can't you tell me what's going on? I want to do something. I'm not the groom but I'm part of the team, right?
Colin : Chloé has a water lilly in her right lung.
Chloé : Oh no! I slap the next one worrying!
Colin (1:33) : I feel my whole life is depending on this moment. If I miss it…
Chloé : I beg to differ.
Colin : You've aged 10 years in two days.
Nicolas : It's Chloé's disease that got ahold of you.
Chloé : If you miss that moment, you try the next one, and if you fail you try once more. You have your whole life to succeed.
Chloé (1:51) : Hold me against you.
Here's an interesting making-of :
I can't translate all that, just watch, try to pick up on some stuff and appreciate the visuals & the feel of the set.
The first reviews I've been reading say the film starts with a very cheerful tone but gets extremely dark, something the promos hide very well — I haven't read the novel, but it seems to be faithful to the tragic turn it inevitably takes in the last part. You go from laughter to tears, literally, although it could sometimes have been more emotional if Gondry wasn't so "gondryesque", always experimenting, inventing visual tricks (illusions !), and towards the end it makes us miss out on moments where we should relate more to the main couple.
It's really Gondry's showcase, if you've loved his style in Eternal Sunshine or Science of Sleep you'll be swarmed under his CGI-free, poesy-filled inventions, more than ever. Tear-jerking moments were too easy : you won't cry your eyes out, because this dark, suffocating world will simply literally "shatter your heart" (I'm basically quoting). But for one or two critics, all this darkness stops the viewers from caring deeply about the main couple, that seems to be the only downside from 1-2 of the 4-5 press reviews I've read.
Overall, it's very positive, everyone praises the abundants ideas and impressive visuals of L'écume des jours, and I'm definitely appealed by the darkness of it all so needless to say I'm pumped for what may be my most anticipated film of the year (or it's a tie with Gravity).