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MOVIES : Froth of the Daydream - First photos

Michel Gondry is back with a new fantasy dramedy starring Audrey Tautou and Romain Duris.

It is the adaptation of L'écume des jours (meaning "The foam of the days"), the novel written by Boris Vian in 1947. It was translated by Stanley Chapman as Froth of the Daydream and by Brian Harper as Mood Indigo, Foam of the Daze.

There has already been a film adaptation of that novel in 1968 by Pierre Belmont, in a film starring Marie-France Pisier, Jacques Perrin, Alexandra Stewart, Sami Frey and Annie Buron.

It will tell the story of a woman, Chloé, who falls ill on her honeymoon : she has a water lily growing in her lungs, a very rare and painful condition which requires her to be surrounded by flowers.

Production started on April 16, shooting will last 15 weeks around various locations in France and Belgium. Produced by StudioCanal, Brio Films and France 2 Cinéma, L'écume des jours will be released in cinemas in 2013.

This film by Michel Gondry is starring :

- Audrey Tautou (Amélie, Dirty Pretty Things, Un long dimanche de fiançailles, Da Vinci Code, Coco avant Chanel).
- Romain Duris (Dobermann, Déjà mort, Peut-être, De battre mon coeur s'est arrêté, Molière, L'arnacoeur).
- Alain Chabat (La cité de la peur, Le goût des autres, Astérix & Obélix II, RRRrrr!!!, Papa, Night at the Museum 2).
- Aïssa Maïga (Caché, Bamako, Je vais bien, ne t'en fais pas, Les insoumis, Diamant 13, L'avocat).
- Omar Sy (Nos jours heureux, Tellement proches, Seuls Two, Micmacs à tire-larigot, Intouchables).
- Gad Elmaleh (La vérité si je mens 2, La doublure, La rafle, Midnight in Paris, Tintin, Un bonheur n'arrive jamais seul).
- Philippe Torreton (Ça commence aujourd'hui, Monsieur N, L'équipier, Chevaliers du ciel, L'ordre et la morale).
- Charlotte Lebon (Astérix & Obélix : Au service de Sa Majesté).

Omar Sy and Charlotte Lebon are replacing Jamel Debbouze and Léa Seydoux (scheduling conflicts).

Many of these actors have toplined films together in the past, most notably Audrey Tautou and Romain Duris, starring in two widely popular comedies from writer/director Cédric Klapish, L'auberge espagnole (The spanish inn, translated as "The spanish appartment") and Les poupées russes ("The russian dolls"), in which Aïssa Maïga has a supporting role. They will reprise their roles in a third and final installment, Le casse-tête chinois, scheduled to be released in 2013.

Les poupées russes wasn't the only time before L'écume des jours that Romain Duris and Aïssa Maïga worked together, they both starred in another comedy (a bad one apparently), L'âge d'homme, maintenant ou jamais. Aïssa Maïga also worked with Alain Chabat, first in 2006 for Prête-moi ta main and then in 2012 for Sur la piste du Marsupilami, both times in supporting roles in these two big hits. Alain Chabat not only worked with her but he also starred with Gad Elmaleh in Chouchou and Les clefs de bagnole (for cameo appearances). Speaking of Gad Elmaleh, he toplined a romantic comedy with Audrey Tautou called Hors de prix and next September he will star with Omar Sy in Les seigneurs.

Me linking some trailers of their previous work is merely an attempt to make you want to watch those films - I only did that with the ones I've seen and that I think are great (in some cases films I have not yet seen but that have a great reputation).

Michel Gondry is a writer/director who won the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay in February 2005 for Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (Kate Winslet also got a nod for Best Actress). His filmography (minus his documentaries & clips) :

- 2001 : Human Nature (written by Charlie Kaufman, starring Patricia Arquette & Tim Robbins).
- 2004 : Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (co-written with Charlie Kaufman, starring Jim Carrey & Kate Winslet).
- 2006 : La science des rêves (starring Charlotte Gainsbourg, Gael Garcia Bernal, Alain Chabat & Emma de Caunes).
- 2008 : Be Kind, Rewind (starring Jack Black, Mos Def, Danny Glover & Mia Farrow).
- 2009 : Flight of the Conchords, episode 2.05 - Unnatural Love (written by Iain Morris & Damon Beesley).
- 2011 : The Green Hornet (written by Seth Rogen & Evan Goldberg, starring Seth Rogen, Jay Chou & Christoph Waltz).
- 2012 : The We and the I (co-written with Jeffrey Grimshaw & Paul Proch, starring only young newcomers).
- 2013 : L'écume des jours (co-written with Luc Bossi).

Luc Bossi's previous works include the romantic comedy La chance de ma vie (with Virginie Efira, François-Xavier Demaison, Armelle Deutsch and Thomas N'Gigol), and the great action drama La proie (with Albert Dupontel, Alice Taglioni, Stéphane Debac, Sergi Lopez and Caterina Murino), both of them co-written with Laurent Turner.

Why would I talk about that French film here ? Other than because it sounds awesome, it's because Michel Gondry's work isn't unknown in America (he has actually worked there more than in France) : Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind got Oscar love, Be Kind Rewind was not as popular, but then Gondry entered the blockbuster market with The Green Hornet and that film grossed $100 million in America. Technically L'écume des jours is only his 2nd feature movie in French - the first one, La science des rêves (literally "The science of dreams", translated as The science of sleep), grossed $5 million in North America, that's not bad for a foreign film (although it is partially in English).

Plus, Gondry is returning to the cinema he's famous for (weird, surreal and cartoonish). And some cast members like Audrey Tautou are well-known in the US (courtesy of Le fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain), Alain Chabat and Gad Elmaleh had secondary roles in high-profile US films but I don't think they have the same "recognisability" as her, Romain Duris has been in movies that have worked fairly well internationally (no English-speaking roles for him though, except excerpts of L'auberge espagnole and Les poupées russes). With the success of Intouchables ($1.6 million in the US so far, $350 million internationally), maybe Omar Sy will get recognition outside of France, too.

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