A sweet, whimsical and poetic comedy hits theaters this Wednesday. This is La page blanche, based on the comic strip by Boulet and Pénélope Bagieu. Sara Giraudeau is surrounded by Grégoire Ludig and Pierre Deladonchamps.
What is it about ?
Eloise finds herself sitting alone on a Parisian bench. Who is she ? What is she doing there? She doesn’t remember anything! She then embarks on an investigation, full of surprises, to find out who she is. What if this amnesia allowed her to find who she is, who she loves, and to reinvent her life?
From comics to film…
Free adaptation of the eponymous comic strip by Boulet and Pénélope Bagieu (published by Delcourt editions), The blank page of Murielle Magellan follows an endearing and poetic heroine, Eloïse, played by Sara Giraudeau. A comedy full of charm, which gently tackles more dramatic subjects.
“I immediately liked [l’]worry about [son héroïne]his quest… and the alternation of poetry and humor that comics carried”, explains the director Murielle Magellan, in the press kit for the film.
The filmmaker sought to find the right distance to translate the humor and the discrepancy created by the situations that the character goes through. “There is a quote from Chaplin that I like and that I highlighted in the screenplay: ‘Seen up close, life is a tragedy, seen from afar, it’s a comedy’. (…)
Sets designed to escape into the heroine’s imagination
As a nod to the work that the film is adapting, La Page blanche has this good idea, pretty and inventive, of including a few sequences in the drawing (an idea that we find elsewhere, in a different and just as inventive, in another back-to-school film, Everybody loves Joan by Cécile Deveaux, which will be released on September 7). In this case, these are drawn decorations. “In addition to the nod to the comic-matrix, it allows us to leave realism to remember fiction“, underlines the director and screenwriter Murielle Magellan.
If the film pays homage to the original comic strip, including via a wink appearance by the author Pénélope Bagieu, Murielle Magellan has nevertheless distanced herself from certain aspects, in particular the fantastic side of the comic strip in the character investigation. “The comic strip has a contemplative side that is quite magical when you read it, but that was not enough for a film script that had to be deployed.“
She adds : “For example, I chose (in agreement with the authors) to solve the enigma of what happened on this bench, while Boulet and Pénélope Bagieu left the reader in suspense. On the other hand, I do not think I have taken so many distances on the background of comics.”
The sweet-dreamy side of the character is definitely there, and at the heart of the story: “On his soul, in a way. His funny-introspective-free side. I think I’m very loyal to it, because that’s what touched me, what thrilled me, its “inner citadel” in a way!”
The director has plenty of references for this first production for the cinema (she had in the past directed the TV movie, Me, fat). Murielle Magellan quotes Frances Ha by Noah Baumbach, a portrait of a woman in search of identity including an interesting tipping point where the character ends up understanding in which direction she wants to go. She also quotes Be Happy by Mike Leigh, another portrait of a woman. “Finally, I saw a lot of Alice by Woody Allen, for the visual universe and its slightly supernatural side (Alice becomes invisible), which, like Eloïse’s amnesia on her bench, is an implicit contract with the viewer “, she adds.
A romantic comedy under influences, and “existential“, with a delightful cast: around Sara Giraudeau, who fits perfectly with the sweet fantasy of the character, we find Grégoire Ludig (le Palmashow), Pierre Deladonchamps (L’Inconnu du lac, Les Chatouilles), Sarah Suco (Discount, Les Invisibles), Djanis Bouzyani (You deserve a love), Doully (Like kids, At the same time) and a small appearance by Stéphane Guillon.