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Festivals & events

21 September 2006 à 13:02

Mathieu Amalric, Romain Duris, Gaspard Ulliel: Lover Boys in The New York Times

A this year’s Cannes Film Festival, the New York Times journalist Lynn Hirschberg found herself at the heart of a discussion on the delicate issue of the next generation of leading men in American cinema.

Indeed, American movie professionals are a little concerned about the lack of audience enthusiasm for new generation male movie idols. It seems that successors to the Brad Pitt- George Clooney-Tom Cruise generation of 1990-2000 are few and far between.

There are, of course, newcomers such as Jake Gyllenhaal, acclaimed for his performance in "Brokeback Mountain," and Zach Braff (known in France from “Garden State”), but US professionals often rely on new recruits from other English-speaking countries, in the likes of Colin Farrell (Ireland) and Orlando Bloom (England). As a result of their growing disillusionment, producers and directors are turning their attention toward Gallic actors, who are hitting their stride at this time.

The French favorites are three Parisians: Romain Duris, Gaspard Ulliel, and Mathieu Amalric. These actors are particularly well received across the Atlantic because they offer the right combination of good looks and technical talent.
Charismatic, charming, and elegant, Duris, Ulliel, and Amalric electrify the screens. With an ability to move their audiences by a naturalistism inspired by the American Actors Studio, and adding style and intensity, these stars can convey a wealth of emotions in a single glance or attitude. Offering radically different performances from one film to another, they can surprise us, and carry a film by their mere presence. This takes American audiences back twenty years to the days when their local leading men evoked strong emotions, such as Daniel Day-Lewis in “My Beautiful Laundrette,” whom the journalist Lynn Hirscherg compares to Romain Duris and his engaging freshness in “The Beat That My Heart Skipped.”
Also highly appreciated in these young actors, who now work more and more in the English language, is their willingness to take on large-scale international productions.
Thus we see Ulliel, aged only 21, taking top billing in the "Silence of the Lambs" prequel "Young Hannibal," and Amalric pursued by Steven Spielberg for "Munich," after Sofia Coppola signed him up for “Marie-Antoinette,” not to mention being cast by the New York director Julian Schnabel in “Basquiat,” and as the lead in “Before Night Falls.”

These young Gallic stars do not conceal their desire to become international actors, and not (only) for the fame and glory but above all because they have the talent to do so and the enthusiasm to make the most of their potential.

The New York Times
The article "Lover Boys" by Lynn Hirschberg appeared in T Style Magazine.

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