Sunday, October 10, 2010

Marion Cotillard: The Actress of the Century

Marion Cotillard (b Sept 30, 1975, Paris; 5-6 ½" tall)
Marion is the daughter of French mime, playwright, and theater director Jean-Claude Cotillard, and the actress and drama teacher Niseema Theillaud. I think she is already one of the best five actresses of all time (up there with Davis, Hepburn, Jackson, Streep, Burstyn) and certainly the best actress of the new millenium.

Given that she can sing, dance, act, and model, she is more versatile than any other actress in history. She is the only actress other than Sophia Loren to win a best actress Oscar® for a performance not in English. Her role as Edith Piaf in "La Vie En Rose" [photo rt] won her an Oscar®, a César (French academy award), a BAFTA (British), and a Golden Globe, and many others (19 in all for that performance). At the Berlin International Film Festival, where the film premiered, Cotillard was given a 15-minute standing ovation.

To date, she has won 27 awards for acting. [Her awards page at IMDB] Luc Besson cast her in her first big commercial role as "Lili" in the French box-office hit Taxi (1998). Due to the success of the movie, three sequels followed and Cotillard reprised the role of "Lili" in two of them.

She received positive reviews from critics for her performances in Pretty Things (2001), Lisa (2001) and A Private Affair (2002). In 2003, Tim Burton introduced her to English-speaking audiences with her role in Big Fish (2003). In 2004, she won a César Award as Best Supporting Actress for Jean-Pierre Jeunet's A Very Long Engagement (2004) in which she played the murderous "Tina", only appearing for about ten minutes overall in the movie, but was unforgettable.

Marion is the first French actress to win Best Leading Actress at BAFTA Film Awards, and the first to win an Oscar®. She was considered for the role of Hanna Schmitz in The Reader (2008) after Nicole Kidman dropped out due to pregnancy.

If she had not been an actress, she would have liked to become a singer. She had to learn how to sing in one month to play Marie in Pretty Things (2001).

She's an ecologist and a spokesperson for Greenpeace. She grew up in Orléans, France. "I don't think you learn how to act. You learn how to use your emotions and feelings, and my first teacher was my mother [Niseema Theillaud] and then I worked with my father [Jean-Claude Cotillard], who helped me to find in myself all those emotions and how to play with the emotions."

"I have a tendency to often share the point of view of the conspiracy theory."

She's been romantically linked to actor Gaspard Ulliel (A Very Long Engagement) and the singer Sinclair, whom I assume is a distant relative and that gives me a glimmer of hope ("As If!")

[Left: Based on her personality and eco-awareness, I'm hoping this is a doobie and not a hand rolled cigarette!] Here is her performance in the film NINE, the song "Take It All" - I like this video best, which intersperses the film scene with Marion recording the audio track in the studio