Friday, January 15, 2010

[this link is a part of Stinkylulu’s Supporting Actress Blogathon; to find out more about it or to participate click immediately on Stinkylulu]

This was a demanding year for Marion Cottilard! In one film, her husband made movies; in the other one, her sweetheart robbed banks! I am happy to write some words of appreciation on her second-mentioned acting challenge…

Marion Cotillard, as Billie Frechette in Public Enemies

The gangster’s/outlaw’s girl has always been a very common supporting role for actresses! She’s sexy, always a bit suffering, but loyal enough to stick with him until the very end! They are tough women, but feminine, street-smart and with a very good instinct.

Marion plays Billie, a mixed race poor girl who becomes the love interest of bank robber John Dillinger. When they meet, Billie proves to be a stubborn girl, with a mind of her own, but gradually falls for his promises of a future simple life together!

It’s not hard to tell Marion was cast because of the French accent and the exotic look the role required. She’s charming in the cheap red dress and I can truly believe their attraction, as Marion has a very good chemistry with Johnny Deep. They make a nice pair and the success of the love story helps justify some of Dillinger’s actions in the film!

Marion gives a good performance and she’s charming all the way! Her face is very expressive; those gorgeous eyes suggest both the schoolgirl madly in love with the bad boy, but also the mature woman terrified of what’s going to happen. Her presence is very reassuring and it’s always a pleasure to see her on screen, as an escape from this all-boys-movie.

The screenplay doesn’t disappoint her! Marion seals the deal in a tough interrogation scene (actually 2 scenes), which I’d call one of the best acted scenes from 2009! Aggressed and humiliated, she doesn’t surrender; her blind loyalty puts her in two opposite situations: she’s a victim of the abuse, but at the same time Billie knows she’s on the smart side and reassures the police of how stupid her arrest was! Under that vulnerability, we can feel a victory of the character, as she knows that HER man outsmarted them all!

Marion is obviously very close to perfection and has no problem in going through all those emotions previously described! Her portrayal of a strong woman put in a vulnerable situation is both reinforcing and heart-breaking!

Fabulous, Marion! It’s ridiculous how the critics and the Academy totally ignored this performance! Can’t wait to see you in Nine! :P


Nigel Maruva Chikukwa said...

I absolutely agree with everything.
Watching "Public Enemies," I found myself yearning for more scenes from Cotillard, especially during those dragged car-chase scenes. Those got a bit irritating for me.

And I also noticed that "expressiveness" in her face; especially during the first "meet-cute" (When Depp courts Marion, as she works as a coat-hanger). A lot of expression transpired before she finally capped the scene saying, "But you don't even know me."

joe burns said...

I haven't seen this, but I have seen Nine. She was good, but there were problems.

Andrew: Encore Entertainment said...

YAAAAAAAAAAAAY. Love it, love it, love it!!! So glad to see someone championing Marion, and I could not do writeup to do her justice so glad you did. This performance is definitely very high up on my favourite list of 09, just saying :)

Vanessa said...

I saw this movie but have completely forgotten it already. I do remember really liking Marion in it but not liking the movie itself. Especially the look of the movie. But I could watch her in anything! She is so beautiful and very different from typical Hollywood actresses.

Vertigo's Psycho said...

After watching Nine I suddenly find myself a huge fan of the fantastic Ms. Cotillard. Thanks for highlighting another great performance of hers I need to catch.

Alex in Movieland said...

thanks alot ya'all for all the nice comments :)