Charlotte: when Marion Cotillard lends her voice to a moving animated film

The animated film “Charlotte”, which retraces the life of the painter Charlotte Salomon, is released this Wednesday in our theaters. A poignant film with the voices of Marion Cotillard and Romain Duris.



Charlotte Salomon is a young German Jewish painter, whose destiny changes on the eve of the Second World War. Faced with the whirlwind of history and the revelation of a family secret, only an extraordinary act can save her. She then begins her life’s work…


In the French version of this animated biopic, actress Marion Cotillard lends her voice to the young painter Charlotte Salomon. The actress had already lent herself to the exercise of dubbing with Avril and the World tricked, The Little Prince or The Minions.

In the English version it is Keira Knightley who doubles the main character of the Belgian-French-Canadian feature film.

Romain Duris lends his voice to Alexander Nagler, the heroine’s husband, while VO is Sam Claflin who dubs him.

This is the first time that Marion Cotillard and Romain Duris have worked together on the same film. The two French actors were to give the reply in Living is better than dying by Pascal Chaumeil but the project was abandoned after the director died in 2015.

Finally Anne Dorval is the French voice of Ottilie Moore (Sophie Okonedo in English).

Charlotte Solomon’s story

Directed by Tahir Rana and Eric Warin, who co-directed Ballerina, Charlotte is a poignant animated film based on the true story of German-Jewish painter Charlotte Salomon.

The only daughter of surgeon Albert Salomon and Franziska Salomon, she was born in Berlin on April 16, 1917. After the death of her mother, her father remarried the famous singer Paula Lindberg. The latter allowed Charlotte to meet many German intellectuals, notably Albert Einstein, the composer Erich Mendelssohn and the painter Max Liebermann.

In 1936, she joined the Academy of Fine Arts in Berlin before being dismissed in 1938 because of the rise of Nazism.

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Sent to the South of France, to stay with Ottilie Moore, a wealthy American heiress of Jewish origin, Charlotte finds her grandparents there, whom she takes care of.

Feeling Nazism spreading everywhere, the young artist was seized with a creative urgency. Between 1940 and 1942 she painted more than 1300 gouaches which will be collected under the title “Life? or Theatre?”.

After her marriage to Alexander Nagler, an Austrian refugee, she entrusts her work to a friend so that he can give them to Ottilie Moore, who has returned to live in the United States.

Charlotte and Alexander were denounced, arrested and deported to Auschwitz in October 1943. The young woman, then 5 months pregnant, was sent to the gas chamber as soon as she arrived. Alexander died in the camp in January 1944.

Ottilie Moore entrusts Charlotte’s life’s work to her parents who managed to escape deportation. The series of gouaches is on display at the Joods Historisch Museum, the Jewish History Museum in Amsterdam.

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Through the moving life of the artist, history takes shape, the rise of Nazism and its explosion. The film shows the streets of Berlin inflamed, the arrival of soldiers in theaters, bars, the kidnappings of the Jewish population in apartments…

Charlotte is rejected by society but also by her grandfather who blames her for the death of her grandmother.

For all these reasons, we recommend this poignant feature film from 10 years old. The film by Tahir Rana and Eric Warin makes it possible to approach the subject of the Second World War and the danger of extremism with children and will be a perfect complement to the CM – CM2 school program.

A long rehabilitation work

Charlotte also sheds light on the life of this artist little known to the general public.

Indeed, it took almost 70 years for the name and work of Charlotte Salomon to begin to be known to the general public. Her parents took a long time to understand what treasure their daughter had left behind.

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If the work of Charlotte Salomon has long remained in the shadows, today it benefits from a general movement to rehabilitate women artists like the filmmaker Alice Guy.

Initiated by Canadian producer Julia Rosenberg, the film required eight years of work and mobilized an international team.

In the press kit for the feature film, the latter explains that she had received Charlotte Salomon’s book, “Life? Or Theatre?” at the age of 13 and having almost fetishized it. The idea of ​​making a film came to him much later.

“The film drawn from the story of his life”

Making this biopic an animated film immediately imposed itself on the producer behind the project: “Charlotte Salomon had drawn the story of her life, so I had to produce an animated film, the film drawn from the story of her life“.

With this feature film, she hopes that the artist will finally receive the recognition she deserves: “I am an enthusiast, when I like something, I like it thoroughly.

And I really think Charlotte’s work is amazing, and her story is so inspiring, despite her tragic end, and unfairly misunderstood. I hope everyone will wonder, “How could I not know who this artist is? How come she’s not in the art history books?”“.

Charlotte is to be seen in your cinemas.

We wish to say thanks to the writer of this article for this remarkable material

Charlotte: when Marion Cotillard lends her voice to a moving animated film