“Lost illusions”: Xavier Dolan in a class of his own
Xavier Dolan in the film “Lost Illusions”
Most represented film at the Césars with a record of 15 nominations, Lost Illusions by Xavier Giannoli reminds us that Balzac’s classic hasn’t aged a bit, giving Xavier Dolan and Cécile de France two huge performances that could win them prizes for interpretation in a supporting role.
The feature opens with a familiar voice. That of Xavier Dolan, who narrates the journey of Lucien (Benjamin Voisin, discovered in Été 85by François Ozon), a naïve and idealistic young poet who tries to make his mark in 19th century Paris in order to show his noble mistress (Cécile de France) that he is worthy of her.
The director of Mommy also finds himself on screen in the skin of Nathan, an enigmatic writer who condenses three characters from the novel, being both the rival and the ally of the hero.
“We did not have such easy roles to do, admits Cécile de France, met by videoconference as part of the Rendez-vous du cinema français d’Unifrance. Xavier plays a rather ambiguous, rich and complex character. It’s not easy to embody characters who are both on one side and on the other.”
Cécile de France in “Lost Illusions”
Illustrious opus of the Human Comedy, Lost Illusionsresonates in the way of speaking of the world today, of the cult of money, appearances, show information and the thirst for glory. The story evokes in particular the gap that too often separates the rich from the poor as well as the importance of not mixing classes. Getting rid of it has a price that we risk paying for a long time.
“The humans in this story are victims: they are crushed by their social conditions, explains the one who reconnects with the period film after Mademoiselle de Joncquières. Even if they dare to take their destiny into their own hands, it still catches up with them. There are codes to respect.”
Fortunately, this system of hierarchy did not prevail during filming, where stars of all kinds such as Gérard Depardieu, Vincent Lacoste and Jeanne Balibar rubbed shoulders.
“We were just happy to be together. It’s been a really great experience,” says Cécile de France with a smile.
I was honored to be able to work with Xavier because I love him as a filmmaker and actor. I was super happy to meet him. We spent great evenings talking and laughing together.
Cécile de France, about Xavier Dolan
While the director of Just the end of the world was talking about his future TV series, The night Laurier Gaudreault woke up, on the montage of which he is currently working, the actress could confide in her participation in Greek salad, a series derived from L&rsquo The Spanish Inn, this cult feature film which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. We were amazed to be in these beautiful costumes, these magnificent sets. Once on set, we were like children. It’s not every day you get to shoot a movie like this.”
Lost Illusions hits theaters this Friday. The Cesar ceremony will take place the same day.