“Arlette”: “I like people who aren’t afraid to beat themselves up” – Mariloup Wolfe

The presence of Maripier Morin at the top of the bill makes Arlette one of the most anticipated films of the summer. Directed by Mariloup Wolfe and starring Gilbert Sicotte and David La Haye, as well as Lara Fabian and Micheline Lanctôt, this comedy explores our relationship to the image with sometimes black humor and a lack of complacency.

• Also read: Maripier Morin: “I’m an alcoholic, a drug addict and still in therapy”

“Our relationship with image today is so biased because of social networks, because of this pressure that we feel from society to exist and to be seen,” commented Maripier Morin during the film’s promotional interviews. And she knows something about it, having made her small screen debut on the reality show “Double Cast,” before becoming one of the “Beauties” of the “Banker,” then eventually columnist, star presenter, adored by audiences… previously fell heavily from their pedestal after allegations of sexual assault, inappropriate behavior and racist remarks.

If she’s wearing “Arlette” again today, it’s because Mariloup Wolfe chose her after a rigorous selection process. A choice she had to defend tooth and nail. “I’m very open,” the filmmaker confided. And I honestly didn’t think it would be that big. I did some really creative work, I gave him four auditions. […] Was I aware of what had been said? yes some parts After… Shall I be the judge? It’s not my personality. And I think that’s a shame for all craftsmen.”

“When Maripier came to the audition, the words in her mouth sounded completely different. There’s a vulnerability and a fragility to her, and the words took on a whole new meaning then. I was shaken,” she noted.

wait so long

The feature film follows Arlette Saint-Amour (Maripier Morin), a magazine director who was appointed Minister of Culture by the Premier (Gilbert Sicotte) of Quebec. Instantly the target of attacks from across the male political class, she quickly angered the Secretary of the Treasury (David La Haye) by demanding that he honor the party’s campaign pledge to give his ministry $100 million. And the fight Arlette will fight will not only be political.

Through the staging of a young woman thrown into the “lion’s den” of politics, “Arlette,” that “common fable” for the filmmaker, takes on, sometimes annoyingly and often violently, misogyny, feminism and the brutality of the Politics apart by insisting on the image that we project through remarkably well-written dialogue, historical and cultural references, and tongue-in-cheek humor that rubs those who govern us without complacency.

“Arlette” was already the subject of deposits with institutions, Marie Vien (“La passion d’Augustin”) worked on the screenplay for 10 years. When the project got into Mariloup Wolfe’s hands, “I had 24 hours to give my answer. After reading I had to meet the author. It’s a strong statement, it’s a satirical comedy, a fable that has no morals, I had to stick to it, understand it, have images.

“All the references to the monarchy, to Versailles, that really turned me on. I had just casually watched The Crown. With “Arlette” I was catapulted into a modern world with universal issues like culture – it’s always the same debate -, money, feminism, this woman into a different environment that she doesn’t know how to do and who makes mistakes, the power of the image, all the historical references… There were so many things I could enjoy without being straight.”

The director visualized everything from the start. “We do the intertitles, we do the humour, we do the irony, we do the satire, but all of this – and that was really my passion – in a minimalist, true game.” She also engaged the services of Yves Bélanger , Jean-Marc Vallée’s frequent cameraman.

From ZZ Top to Lara Fabian

During the casting, Mariloup Wolfe chose her performers based on “their intensity. I’m someone who likes intensity, passion and investment. I like those who dare, regardless of their opinion. I like people who aren’t afraid to hit themselves, people who aren’t afraid to be ugly, people who let themselves go.”

Alongside Maripier Morin, Gilbert Sicotte will become prime minister, Antoine Bertrand opposition leader, Benoît Brière as political attaché, Paul Ahmarani as press attaché, Lara Fabian, French trade minister – funny anecdote: Jean Dujardin and Omar Sy were approached but they were unavailable -… and Micheline Lanctôt, President of the National Assembly. For the latter, the filmmaker took Queen Elizabeth II as a reference. She did it out of friendship because she was my teacher at Concordia.

David La Haye wanted to play the press secretary. At the auditions, “I had a beard on my breastbone and long hair. I had the ZZ top look! Mariloup tells me that she saw my audition, that she likes me very much, that I am easy to respond to instructions… and asks me how I would feel about playing Treasury Secretary. That she offered me this role when I looked like this! I admit I was scared because this role is the opposite of me, it’s tough, it’s strict. And above all, he is a misogynist, while I am exactly the opposite. The actor drew on his classic theatrical repertoire to build his character, creating “a hybrid of Iago [personnage du “Othello” de Shakespeare] and Richard III”.

Maripier Morin prepared for “four months of intensive coaching. When I take on a project, I choose a coach who is associated with the project. Mariloup accepted that I was working with Daniel Parent. I knew every text. Without revealing anything, the actress also filmed an intimate scene with Lara Fabian. “It’s one of my favorite moments on set. Lara is infinitely sweet, so nice. Like all women, I have an odd relationship with my body when I found hers so beautiful. And I thought we had the same type of body and I thought it was funny to be able to find her beautiful when I’m still putting myself down like we all do. From that day on, there was a “before” and an “after” in the way I view my body. This whole film was therapeutic for so many reasons.”

The icing on the cake “Arlette” will be presented at the Francophone Film Festival in Angoulême at the end of August. “We are so happy! Your enthusiasm for the film! It made me cry because the process has been difficult over the past year. To have people on the outside who just appreciate Marie’s lines, the acting, the cinematic proposal… That was balm for me! And we will also be represented in Namur, Belgium. The film is beginning its little European life,” concluded Mariloup Wolfe.

“Arlette” arrives in dark rooms of the province from August 5th.

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