Best Actress Award in Venice
Production: Les Films Alain Sarde (Canal +), Les Films de l'étang, Alhena Films, TF1 Films|
Directing: Nicole Garcia
Screenplay: Nicole Garcia, Jacques Fieschi
Cinematography: Laurent Daillant
2 women, 2 actresses, each one on the other side of the camera: Nicole Garcia is directing Catherine Deneuve
The famous Place Vendôme is the business heart of the parisian jewelries like Cartier or Van Cleef & Arpels. Chanel headquarters and The Ritz Hotel are located here too.
Nicole Garcia and Catherine Deneuve travel from Paris to London and Antwerpen, the diamond's capital.
This thriller is mixing the past and the present. The first views started in june 97. The movie could be ready for Cannes in 98.
It is the third feature directing by the actress Nicole Garcia. Her two first movies were focused on family relationships: a divorced couple and their kids, 3 brothers with their father.
After these two psycho-dramas, she films an individual destiny through the business affairs.
Place Vendôme has hired a very hot cast with Polanski's favorite, Emmanuelle Seigner, and french theater and screenplayer star Jean-Pierre Bacri (2 Molieres, 2 Cesars).
The last element was french singer-actor (and cigar smoker) Jacques Dutronc (Françoise Hardy's husband). He played with Deneuve 18 years ago in Claude Lelouch's A nous deux.
The detailed Story|
Paris' famous Place Vendôme is marked by several attributes - 18th century buildings and their superbly ordered facades, brillant gem necklaces and other sparkling finery showcased in Haute Couture's sumptuous jewelry shops, the extremes of the pure beauty of the gems and the ineluctable money and greed surrounding them.
The death of Vincent Malivert, director of one of these prestgious establishments, has left his wife Marianne (Deneuve) in a terrible predicament. At these tragic crossroads in life, it is a question of sink or swim, being pulled under or fighting and being reborn.
A man dogged by debts and driven to financial ruin, Vincent's death appears to have been a suicide. His life was apparently a mess, but he managed to hide this from Marianne. For a long time now, she has lived in a state of alcoholic stupor, often taking refuge in rest homes. Still she retains some of her grace and elegance.
Then one day she discovers seven magnificient diamonds which her husband had stashed in a secret chest. The sparkle and the perfection of their cut and size cast a spell on her. In examining them, Marianne draws genuine pleasure. She rediscovers gestures and natural instincts which she thought were lost to her. The beauty of these gems slowly awakens her passion.
In the past, Marianne was an active and ambitious borker herself. She wroked with another man, Batistelli (Dutronc), and loved him intensely until the day she found out he was seeing anther woman.
Other people are looking for these precious gems. In spite of the pressure from mysterious sources, she is unwilling to part with these diamonds, as if her life were captive in their enigmatic play of light. Slowly she discovers the origin and follows the track. The road leads to London - to the offices of the great diamons moguls, the DeBeers, and then to Anvers, to the old diamond quarter.
She meets Nathalie (Seigner), Malivert's best saleswoman. Her beauty and ambition remind Marianne of herself when she was young. Nathalie is in the midst of breaking up with her boyfriend, Jean-Pierre (Bacri), apparently a foreigner to this "milieu". Yet he extends a synpathic ear to Marianne, helping her, directing her almost. He crosses her path so often that it looks as if some sort of manipulation is going on.
Slowlu, Marianne discovers a secret war between the DeBeers and the Russian cartel which threatens their monopoly. And so Marianne is inadvertently drawn into this somber affair, forced to take an active role.
As the plot thickens, she meets up with Battistelli again. She hasn't seen him in twenty years. He is part of the cartel and is interested in taking possession of Marianne's diamond. She now holds in her hands the destiny of the man who once betrayed her. But is she interested in vengeance?
The old lovers have come face to face. Marianne's strange journey has brought her face to face with herself. He, the adventurer, has come to the end of his road, exhaustion. He must pay his debt.
Something ancient and primitive still attracts the two. These magnificient gems stand between them, a mystery, a vital clue.
Place Vendôme French version
Place Vendôme English Version
Including the Complete Story of the film
Movie Reviews (bilingual)
Interview Nicole Garcia par Ecran Noir (in French)
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