MEET – In The Origin of MaI, by Sébastien Marnier, the actress embodies a woman in search of her father. The opportunity to talk about his place in the cinema, the lines of which have changed since the series Ten percent .
“It’s a bit like a portrait?” Laure Calamy has not changed, (false) ingenuous, funny and spontaneous. Serious and thoughtful too, in the suite of a hotel in 8e district of Paris. In 2017, we met the actress for Ava , by Lea Mysius. The Noémie of the series Ten percentplayed a supporting role. A mother character, the first of a long series. Five years later, everything has changed for Laure Calamy.
Since Antoinette in the Cevennes , by Caroline Vignal, post-containment blockbuster in 2020 (760,000 admissions), which earned her a César, she continues to film as a headliner. The actress plays it modest. “The distributors had the audacity to release the film in September, in the midst of a pandemic, at a time when everyone was postponing the films until the end of October. We had a boulevard. Word of mouth has had time to work.
Jubilant Slaughter Game
This Wednesday, the boulevard looks like a highway on a day of great departure (twelve new films in theaters) but Laure Calamy bursts the screen in The Origin of Evil, the third feature film by Sébastien Marnier. After Impeccable and Exit time, the director orchestrates a game of jubilant massacre in a villa by the sea, inhabited by a toxic family on all floors. Smooth patriarch (Jacques Weber), frivolous wife (Dominique Blanc), upstart daughter (Doria Tillier), rebellious granddaughter (Céleste Brunnquell) and devious servant, the masks fall on the arrival of Stéphane (Laure Calamy), worker in a cannery looking for his father. We are between the Chabrol of red wedding and the Bong Joon-ho of Parasite . “Sébastien is a Chabrol fanatic, confirms Laure Calamy. The Origin of Evil contains the same irony, the same fierce humor. There is also something from the Buñuel of beautiful day and ghost of freedom. He moves away from realism, mixes genre film with social criticism. The metaphor of the end of patriarchy is playful here.
The film begins like a fairy tale. Gradually, the varnish cracks and cruelty emerges
Laure Calamy had experimented with a wig before giving it up. She found it more interesting to start from what we know about her in order to play it better and pervert the image of the nice girl, a little clumsy and clueless that she was able to embody, of the Noémie of Ten percent at the Antoinette des Cévennes. “I can go into troubled waters, into deep dark forests. The film begins like a fairy tale. Gradually, the varnish cracks and cruelty emerges.
Employee in an Amazon warehouse (Our battles), sex worker (A woman of the world) or chambermaid in a Parisian palace (Full time), Laure Calamy played proletarians and Mother Courage a lot. Without feeling like you’re repeating yourself. “The real question is: what cinema are we going to make with such a character? I can play yet another mother. I never tire of it if it’s to tell a different story each time. In terms of the female character, there’s so much to explore. There has been an opening for a few years and I’m interested in going where I haven’t been yet.”
The proof with Annie Anger, in theaters November 30. Blandine Lenoir’s film depicts the meeting in 1974 of a worker mother of two children with the Movement for the Freedom of Abortion and Contraception (MLAC), which helps women to have illegal but painless abortions thanks to to the Karman method. “Annie Anger speaks of a completely forgotten part of history. I remembered my mother complaining about school textbooks talking about the Veil law without recalling the enormous pressure from women. Without the MLACs, never the government of Valéry Giscard d’Estaing
nor Simone Veil would have thought of passing the law. This takes nothing away from Simone Veil who had the courage to face an assembly of male hysteria.
“I say yes to all these adventures that make me exult”
The proof also with Iris and the men, the new film by Caroline Vignal, whose filming begins these days. The story of Iris, mother of two daughters who has everything to be happy. A job at a dental office, a nice apartment, and a loving husband she hasn’t had sex with in ages. When a stranger suggests she take a lover, the men shake up her life. “We stay in comedy but my character is more opaque than Antoinette. The character moves me a little.
At 47, Laure Calamy has not finished moving. At the cinema anyway. Since his Molière for The Game of Love and Chance in 2018, the actress is no longer back on the boards. “I will come back to it but there, I say yes to all these adventures which make me exult. The cinema is more willing to tell the story of the woman of 40 years, even 50 years even if it is not yet that. There are more and more women screenwriters, directors, producers, distributors, so I take advantage of that. Even men have this craving. Some out of opportunism, others out of sincerity. Maybe in five years I will not arouse so much desire. See you in five years to see if everything has changed. Or not.
The rating of Figaro: 3/4