Celine Dion biopic powered by love in Cannes

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Cannes (France) (AFP)

A Celine Dion biopic offered a slight relief from the usual Cannes arthouse dishes.

“Aline: The Voice of Love” is one of the less pretentious musical biopics in memory, presenting Dion as a gangly nerd who nonetheless left childish stardom to become the stadium-filling soft rock queen.

The filmmakers said they changed the star’s name to Aline Dieu to give them leeway over the details of her story, though it is closely tied to real life and Dion’s songs.

“Otherwise, we would have a brother who complained that his sweater in 1988 was blue and not red,” joked Valérie Lemercier, director and star of the film, at a press conference Wednesday.

Although it takes a very relaxed and low-drama approach to its subject matter, the film includes a striking directorial decision in having Lemercier Dion play from age 12 through adulthood, with the help of a few. shopping photos.

But there was never any suggestion that the film would do anything other than flatter the star.

“We were never going to give him the second degree,” Lemercier said. “Celine is someone I admire a lot, who never bores me. Whatever she does, it’s always fun, interesting, she’s captivating.”

The film was delayed by the pandemic, with its release slated for before Christmas, and now slated to hit theaters in November.

Lemercier was a philosopher: “If we hadn’t had this delay, we wouldn’t be here in Cannes … and hey, that gave me time to tidy up my house.

– “Character and humor” –

The actress said she didn’t feel the need to meet the real Dion, having so immersed herself in her performances and television appearances.

“Celine hasn’t seen the movie, and I don’t think I’m going to rush to show it either. She’s lost people close to her and I think she’s someone who needs to keep watching towards the future to continue, ”said Lemercier. .

She was referring to the death of Dion’s husband, René Angelil, who was 20 years her senior. Their unusual love story is at the heart of the film.

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Lemercier added: “I have been dreaming from the start of the moment she sees him and I hope she likes it and sees the care we all took to showcase his character, his humor.”

She hopes Dion adopts a more favorable attitude than some critics.

British critic Jonathan Romney called it “so pointless as a movie that you can only see it as an extravagant piece of concept art,” while Variety said it was “the cinematic equivalent of the movie. ‘easy listening’.

But others have been swept away, France Télérama qualifying this as “a sincere and moving tribute, made with heart”.

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