Did you know that Nicole Kidman had been considered for the film Revoir Paris, showing this Wednesday. Alice Winocour, director and screenwriter, explains why the film evolved its cast differently.
The film carried by Virginie Efira had known previous versions with a non-French-speaking character. The project having been delayed by the Covid crisis, the scenario then evolved towards a French character.
Alice Winocour and screenwriter of the film told us more during an interview at the Cannes Film Festival: “It was part of the film writing process. In the beginning, -because for me, things further away are easier to do-, I first wrote the film for Nicole Kidman. And then there was the Covid and the film was not made.”
For the record, Nicole Kidman had the opportunity to shoot for a French filmmaker in the past, in this case Olivia Dahan, for the film Grace, shot in English.
Alice Winocour continues: “But I think it was a writing step, because it translated into the film that the character of Mia is no stranger. In the first versions, the character came from the United States and returned to Paris. But suddenly, I realized that she was coming back to Paris from limbo. She is not a stranger to the sense of the country, a stranger to her city. For me, it is foreign to itself. There is a depersonification, she is no longer in her body“, explains Alice Winocour to our microphone.
After this writing work, the director chose Virginie Efira to play the main role of Revoir Paris. “She’s an actress that I’ve always admired a lot.e, she confides to us. I think she exudes a kind of strength. We see that she is a courageous person, who fights, that she is not complacent in suffering. It was something very important to me, that it wasn’t a plaintive film, but about people who have vital energy, like people who have come close to death: they are people who are trying to go forward. Virginie Efira exuded that.”
The actress has been very involved: “We created together this character of a free woman, who is in this obsessive quest. It is also a form of performance for Virginie to manage to find this particular state of post-trauma which makes you a stranger to her own body. It’s not easy to play, as if she were a bit of a spectator of her memory. What I stage in this film is also this traumatic memory. It’s the phenomenon of flashbacks in psychiatry , which are different from movie flashbacks. Movie flashbacks are memories. This is something called involuntary recurrent memory. These are psychic intrusions of images and sounds that arise through reminiscences sounds. Sounds can be enough to bring the whole scene back to life. We worked a lot on her gaze. I was very lucky to work with her, and also Benoit Magimel. They are actors who arouse a lot of empathy.”.
PODCAST – Cannes 2022: Meeting with Virginie Efira
The character of Virginie Efira travels on a motorcycle, which is symbolic for the screenwriter and director: “For me, she is a character of a freedwoman, a strong woman. There was this idea that she was wandering around Paris on her motorbike, like in limbo. Someone who isn’t really there, not really in his memories, not really in the real world… Somewhere else. All the way to the movie, she’s the one who comes back to the world of the living“.
The pitch of Revoir Paris: In Paris, Mia is caught in an attack in a brasserie. Three months later, when she still hasn’t managed to resume the course of her life and only remembers the event in snatches, Mia decides to investigate her memory to find her way back to life. possible happiness.
The film is currently in theaters.