The 74th edition of the Cannes Film Festival will take place from July 6 to 17. While waiting for the first climb of the stairs, presentation of films and personalities who will make the event on the Croisette. Today: close-up in seven sequences on Léa Seydoux who, from Wes Anderson to Bruno Dumont or Ildikó Enyedi, will be featured in almost every shot on the Croisette.
Its 2021 vintage in Cannes
It is very filling. She is in four films (!) Of the Official Selection, including three in competition (!). Who says better ? We start with The French Dispatch, the fantasy choir of Wes Anderson, where she plays a very steadfast prison guard, who poses for an inmate. Then there is France, by Bruno Dumont, named after the heroine she plays, a TV star journalist, narcissist, ambitious, cynical, who knows glory and downfall. We go to My wife’s story, by Hungarian director Ildikó Enyedi, costume adaptation of a famous novel from Magyar literature. She camps there a little Frenchwoman indifferent to the unconditional love that her husband has for her, a melancholy long-haul captain. Finally, in the new Cannes Première section, Léa Seydoux will be in the arms of Denis Podalydès, her lover, in Deception, by Arnaud Desplechin, adaptation of the novel of the same name by Philip Roth.
Everyone imagines that she has Marilyn and Bardot as models. With a certain sense of the cinephile shift, she prefers to quote the Bulle Ogier from The Salamander (Alain Tanner).
His style of play
By turns discreet and conquering, natural and sophisticated, it is multiple. She can play a worker or a queen, a maid or a James Bond girl without worry. Her chubby and sensual features, her physique of blonde muse serve her, of course. But she has more than once demonstrated that she is a talented actress, able to compose, to surprise, expressing with finesse a wide range of feelings.
His greatest achievement
Without a doubt The Life of Adele: chapters 1 and 2 (2013). Where she bursts the screen like a fatal girl with blue hair, apprentice painter and pygmalion, with whom Adèle (Adèle Exarchopoulos) falls madly in love. It reveals itself to be breathtaking, erotic, fiery and poisonous. The shoot was hell, she didn’t hide it. Her outspokenness is also an undeniable quality in her. Another more recent performance: her role as an alcoholic marginal suspected of murder, opaque, manipulative, in Roubaix, a light, by Arnaud Desplechin (2019).
He is reproached
Not much except to be a “daughter of”. She is the granddaughter of the president of Pathé, Jérôme Seydoux, and the great-niece of the former leader of Gaumont, Nicolas Seydoux. It necessarily helps to break through. We still have to last. This is his case. It has been almost fifteen years now that it has taken center stage, being courted by all the great filmmakers, French or foreign, from Quentin Tarantino to Sam Mendes.
She once said
“I know you can never lie to the camera. So I control like a patient, to make myself sick. However, what touches me in art, in cinema, is the sagging, the cracking, the crack. When you let your guard down… Before playing, I didn’t even know what the cinema was. I decided to be an actress because… I had a problem with being watched. It’s contradictory, but I chose to be an actress to disappear. When I was 18, I chose to be an actress out of my desire to be free. I had the means not to work, but not to work is not to be free. To travel with the rich, and only among the rich, is to be a prisoner of one’s condition. The actor’s freedom is just the opposite. “ (Vanity Fair, August 2019).
She has been nominated four times for the Caesar, to no avail. What does it matter, in view of her exceptional holy grail: she is the only one, with Adèle Exarchopoulos, to have been awarded a Palme d’Or, a trophy by nature awarded to filmmakers. The two actresses shared this award in 2013 with Abdellatif Kechiche for The Life of Adele.