(AFP) – Humor, the second degree and a sincere admiration: with “Aline”, a true-false biopic devoted to Celine Dion, Valérie Lemercier returns tribute to the Quebec mega-star, whom she embodies … from 7 to 32 years.
Pushed back twice because of the health crisis, this Franco-Canadian blockbuster at more than 11 is released in theaters Wednesday in France – almost a year to the day after its initial release date – and at the end of the month in Quebec.
“It’s a great relief”, says Valérie Lemercier to AFP. “One year is a very long time, especially since we didn’t know what was going to happen to the film.”
Cut off in its tracks by the epidemic and the closing of the dark rooms, could the film have only been released on streaming platforms? “They tried to pick us up but we resisted. This film is a great show and you have to see it in a big way in the cinema”, she said.
Freely inspired by the life of the international star, the film tells the story of Aline Dieu (played by Valérie Lemercier, from childhood to her 50 years), a Quebec singer propelled to the rank of international star thanks to her exceptional voice.
– Vrai-faux biopic –
“I did not want to make fun, there are a lot of second degree but it has never been It’s a question of making fun of me. He’s someone I admire a lot “, declares the actress and director.
True-false biopic, this sixth feature film by Valérie Lemercier (“Marie-Francine”, “100% cashmere” etc.) does not fully match the singer’s life: “I preferred the ‘invent, make it to leave room for my creativity “.
Valérie Lemercier” did not want us to be in imi pure tation. She wanted us to stand out from the people we had to embody, “says Quebec actress Danielle Fichaud, who plays Aline Dieu’s mother.
On the Quebec side, the performance of the actors is remarkable. And Valérie Lemercier, known for her spectacular metamorphoses as in “Agathe Cléry” (2008) or “Palais Royal” (2005), blends in with Celine Dion’s body language, voice and costumes.
“I never considered playing the role by another. I wanted to play it. I like to dress up, make characters and I have always played children so I said to myself: + why not use what I have already done +? “, She explains.
A metamorphosis made possible thanks to the game of special effects, which required more than six months of work from the film’s technical team, specifies the director.
– “200% in songs” –
“When I was singing, luckily my team was there to let me be at 200% in my songs. It’s a film that we prepared a lot to allow me to have fun while I was playing. Because it shows on our faces if we don’t take pleasure “, she explains.
” There were two Valérie. The one who plays and the one who stages. In rehearsal, it was Valérie who directs: there, she looked at us, she even wrote our text, which she knew by heart. She’s a great actress! “, Declares Sylvain Marcel, 57 years old, who embodies Guy-Claude, the music producer who delights the heart of the singer, despite their age difference (modeled on Céline Dion’s husband, René Angélil).
“It was a work of sharing because we both had the right to stop him when his accent sounded too wrong. Each time, she listened to us and took over “, completes Danielle Fichaud.
For Quebec actors, little known outside Quebec, the shooting will remain a” highlight “of their career , crowned by a “magical” event: the presentation of the film in Cannes last July, out of competition.