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THE SINGER aka QUAND J'eTAIS CHANTEUR
UK: Artificial Eye
Cast: Gerard Depardieu, Cecile De France, Mathieu Amalric, Christine Citti, Patrick Pineau, Alain Chanone, Christophe, Jean-Pierre Gos
Director: Xavier Giannoli
Language: French (English subtitles)
UK: 112 mins
UK Certificate: 12A
UK Release Date: 21 September 2007
Gerard Depardieu has returned to his true form in THE SINGER, which was a huge hit in France. Xavier Giannoli has created a genuinely touching love story which displays humour and a sense of compassion for its characters.
Gerard Depardieu plays the part of Alain Moreau, a nightclub crooner in Clermont- Ferrand - described by one critic as: 'much lower in the food chain than Charles Aznavour, but cut from the same cloth.'
One night, Alain sees young, beautiful blonde, Marion (Cecile de France) in the audience and decides to engineer a meeting through one of his friends, Estate Agent, Bruno (Mathieu Amalric).
Marion, a single mother with an unhappy story, is cautious and untrusting, but before too long, a tentative relationship begins to develop. However, Bruno soon becomes a rival for Marion's affections ....
The on-screen chemistry between Depardieu and de France is remarkable and the film is further enhanced by emotionally fluid performances by all the actors and and some clever plot twists. Whilst Alexandre Desplat's excellent score gives an added depth to the proceedings.
From the Director
" For this film, one of the trickiest things was to avoid descending into caricature, so I did some research, and wound up meeting Alain Chanone, a dance hall singer in Clermont-Ferrand. With Chanone and his band, I discovered a world with its rituals, settings, sounds and public. I followed his band (which became Gerard's band in the film), on the road, lived for a while in Chanone's farmhouse (which became Gerard's home in the film) and everything fell into place quite naturally.
"I had Depardieu in mind when I was writing the screenplay - he's the actor I wanted to film ever since I was very young. He was my David Bowie or Mick Jagger. Even if it sounds na´ve, I never had any doubt that I would work with him. He understood that the character required restraint. He understands everthing, anyway.... I wanted people to discover a new facet of his acting genius. He was wonderful on set, both committed and inventive - and he can sing!"
- Xavier Giannoli