Tag: Gabriel Byrne
In the movie Just A Sigh, actress Alix (Emmanuelle Devos) meets a mysterious Irishman (Gabriel Byrne) on the train to Paris, where she is headed for an audition. Immediately drawn to him from this chance encounter, she follows him, and falls in love with him, before facing what could be a new life.
Alix and Doug were not supposed to meet, but they did. Alix was on a train bound for Paris where she was going to audition for a film, having just left Calais where she had performed in an Ibsen play. Doug, a literature professor, had left England for Paris, where he was to attend the funeral of a dear friend.
They were not supposed to meet and yet they did. They did because Alix, whose relationship with her boyfriend was at a crossroads, fancied this handsome serious-looking gentleman on the Paris-bound train. They did because Doug, although not in the mood for love, quickly fell for her. They were not supposed to meet but their brief encounter would prove to be overwhelming.
Film Review: Just a Sigh
A tonally heterogeneous but emotionally coherent dramedy centered around a beautifully modulated turn by Emmanuelle Devos
Cut off from the daily grind by a dead phone battery and overdrawn credit card, a Gallic actress decides to follow her own whims for a day in “Just a Sigh,” a tonally heterogeneous but emotionally coherent dramedy from Jerome Bonnell (“Queen of Clubs”). This is the young helmer’s fifth and most mature work, frequently using long takes to showcase a beautifully modulated turn from Emmanuelle Devos in something approaching real time. Though tough to pigeonhole genre-wise, the Tribeca competition title should interest upscale arthouse buyers, with the presence of co-star Gabriel Byrne an added marketing bonus.
A striking single take opens the film as it follows Paris-based thesp Alix (Devos) from making a personal phone call backstage to waiting in the wings of a provincial theater before leaping onstage for a performance of Ibsen’s “The Lady From the Sea.” As in that play — never properly excerpted, a classy move that suggests Bonnell isn’t unnecessarily transfixed by intertextuality — the female protag has to choose between the man she shares her life with and a traveling stranger who arouses an inexplicable passion in her.
Alix — whose b.f., Antoine (voiced by Denis Menichot), remains offscreen — meets the mystery man the next day on the early morning train back to Paris, where she has an audition before having to travel back to Calais for an evening performance. They catch each other’s eye, and the man, who turns out to be an English speaker (Byrne), finally makes conversation with her as they arrive, asking for directions to the Basilica of St. Clotilde.
Drowsy, too shy, not entirely at ease in English and perhaps somewhat nervous and absent-minded because of her upcoming tryout, Alix leaves the enigmatic man be when another passenger steps in to give him more precise directions. But after her somewhat humiliating yet extraordinary audition — a simple, one-sided telephone conversation, impressively played in two entirely different registers — Alix’s thoughts drift back to the stranger on the train. Perhaps subconsciously encouraged by the fact that she can’t get hold of Antoine because of her cell-phone issues, she finds herself taking the subway to the church the stranger asked about, where she sees him taking part in a funeral procession.
This is only the film’s setup; less than 30 minutes have passed by the time Alix finds the man, whose name turns out to be Douglas. While it’s always clear what Alix is thinking and going through, Bonnell and Devos have little need for explanatory dialogue; indeed, Alix either is on her own or keeps to herself before tentatively making contact with Douglas, at which point she’s asked to tag along to a bar by another memorial-service attendee, Rodolphe (Gilles Privat).
After its quietly observational but always fully comprehensible character-drama setup, the film eases into whispery romance as Alix and Douglas try to see where their initial spark takes them. A revelation about Alix’s unexpected new role in her relationship with Antoine further puts this unexpected encounter into perspective.
But the film also contains unexpected bursts of humor, starting with Rodolphe’s chuckle-inducing maladroitness, and culminating in a terrific scene that combines high drama and lowbrow comedy when Alix hits up her sister (Aurelia Petit) for cash. Though the lack of access to phones or funds often feels contrived in films, Bonnell uses it here to illustrate character — Alix is insouciant about money and not interested in technology — and, at the same time, to suggest that for one day, she’s a fish out of the water in her hometown, leading her to do things she wouldn’t normally do.
The tonal shifts are all handled smoothly; Devos can switch gears mid-scene like nobody’s business, but Bonnell also keeps things coherent with long takes that let humor, drama and introspection coexist side by side, just like in real life. The use of classical works on the soundtrack by composers such as Vivaldi tries, perhaps a tad too self-consciously, to infuse the film with gravitas, though they’re nicely offset by the different varieties of live music Alix and Douglas encounter as they amble through Paris on what turns out to be World Music Day.
Just a Sigh
Directed by: Jérôme Bonnell
Starring: Emmanuelle Devos, Gabriel Byrne, Gilles Privat, Aurélia Petit, Laurent Capelluto, Denis Ménochet, Sébastien Pouderoux
Screenplay by: Jérôme Bonnell
Production Design by: Anne Bachala
Cinematography by: Pascal Lagriffoul
Film Editing by: Julie Dupré
Costume Design by: Carole Gérard
Music by: Raf Keunen
MPAA Rating: None.
Studio: Distrib Films
Release Date: March 21, 2014
Vampire Academy (also known as Vampire Academy: Blood Sisters) is a 2014 American satirical fantasy horror film based on Richelle Mead’s 2007 best-selling novel of the same name, directed by Mark Waters, and scripted by Daniel Waters.
The film stars Zoey Deutch, Danila Kozlovsky, and Lucy Fry in lead roles. It was released in North America on February 7, 2014 and globally between March and July of the same year. It was distributed in the United States by The Weinstein Company.
Rose Hathaway and Lissa Dragomir are two 17-year-old girls who attend a hidden boarding school for Moroi (mortal, peaceful Vampires) and Dhampirs (half-vampire / half-human guardians). Rose, a rebellious Guardian-in-training and her best friend, Lissa — a royal vampire Princess — have been on the run when they are captured and returned to St.Vladamirs Academy, the very place where they believe their lives may be in most jeopardy.
Thrust back into the perils of Moroi Society and high school, Lissa struggles to reclaim her status while Rose trains with her mentor and love-interest, Dimitri, to guarantee her place as Lissa’s guardian. Rose will sacrifice everything to protect Lissa from those who intend to exploit her from within the Academy walls and the Strigoi (immortal, evil vampires) who hunt her kind from outside its sanctuary.
About the Story
The story features 17-year-old Dhampir (half-human, half-vampire) guardian-in-training Rose Hathaway, and her royal Moroi (the peaceful, mortal vampires) best friend Lissa Dragomir living discreetly within our world, having escaped from their boarding school St. Vladimir’s Academy one year prior to the story. They are soon dragged back to the Academy in Montana and rediscover the dangerous hierarchy within it, along with lies, rumors and secrets. Rose starts to form an attraction to her Russian Dhampir mentor, Dimitri Belikov.
Mysterious messages threatening Lissa appear, but it turns out to have been the work of fellow classmate Mia Rinaldi, who once dated Lissa’s brother; it wasn’t a serious relationship from his point of view, but she was clingy and focused her hatred towards Lissa after a car-crash claimed the lives of her family; she manipulated two other boys into serving her by having sex with them. A Moroi named Christian Ozera, who is viewed poorly by his peers because his parents became Strigoi (the evil, undead vampires of legend, which Moroi become if they completely drain their victims of blood), tries to romance Lissa; Rose keeps him away by lying to both.
Rose also discovers in Lissa the same rare power as St. Vladamir, Spirit – which allows the caster to heal ailments, and save the dying. At the same time, dead animals have been popping up wherever Lissa goes, including her beloved cat Oscar. At the Equinox Dance, Rose confronts Mia, believing she was responsible for all the dead animals. Mia, however, is horrified because she loves cats and gave Oscar treats.
The culprit behind this is Victor Dashkov, a previous candidate for the throne, who has contracted a disease that leaves him too feeble for the job. He wants to use Lissa to cure himself, but at the cost of her own life as continued healing would eventually take its toll on her.
Once captured, Victor explains to Rose that the reason why she bonded to Lissa (and thus sometimes able to see into her mind) is because she was “shadow-kissed”, having been brought back to life by Lissa’s magic. Victor is then freed by his daughter Natalie, who had previously been Rose and Lissa’s friend; loyal to her father, Natalie became a Strigoi by draining her crush to death, while losing her virginity to him. With Dimitri’s help, Rose is able to kill Natalie and detain Victor.
During a speech by vampire Queen Tatiana Ivashkov, Lissa steps in and gives a speech of her own, announcing that Spirit is her type of magic, and that it’s thanks to Rose (who will help keep her from straying from the person she truly is) that she can master it. The scene then shifts to a mountain cave not too far from the academy, where a massive army of Strigoi reside; they say it will be time soon.
About the Production
On May 18, 2013, it was announced that Gabriel Byrne will play Victor Dashkov, Lissa’s uncle, while Sarah Hyland will play Natalie Dashkov, Victor’s daughter and fellow student at the academy. Joely Richardson will play Queen Tatiana Ivashkov, leader of the Moroi Vampires and Dominic Sherwood will be playing Christian Ozera, Lissa’s love interest. On May 20, 2013, the producers posted a behind the scenes photograph revealing the names of a few more cast members. Casting for the film was undertaken by Marci Liroff and Reg Poerscout-Edgerton.
The title of the film was changed from Vampire Academy to Vampire Academy: Blood Sisters. This is the name of the first book in many foreign languages and a different name for each film was wanted. The project was officially greenlit on April 1, 2013. The producers announced on their official Facebook page that principal photography will take place in the UK with additional photography planned in and around Montana in USA and that director, Mark Waters had started pre-production work in London. To prepare for their roles as dhampir novices and guardians, Zoey Deutch, Cameron Monaghan and Danila Kozlovsky underwent rigorous training sessions and workouts.
In June 2010, Preger Entertainment optioned the film rights to the Vampire Academy series. On July 6, 2010, they announced that producer Don Murphy had joined them to help bring the series to the big screen. On December 17, 2012, it was announced that Daniel Waters was writing the script and subsequently, it was announced, that his brother, Mark Waters would direct.
On February 1, 2013, it was announced that Zoey Deutch, Australian actress Lucy Fry, and Russian actor Danila Kozlovsky were cast as Rose Hathaway, Lissa Dragomir, and Dimitri Belikov, respectively. On April 29, 2013, it was announced that Olga Kurylenko had been cast as Headmistress Ellen Kirova. On May 10, 2013, additional cast members were announced to be Cameron Monaghan, Sami Gayle, Claire Foy, and Ashley Charles for the roles of Mason Ashford, Mia Rinaldi, Sonya Karp and Jesse Zeklos respectively.
On May 18, 2013, it was announced that Gabriel Byrne would play Victor Dashkov, Lissa’s uncle, while Sarah Hyland would play Natalie Dashkov, Victor’s daughter and fellow student at the academy. Joely Richardson played Queen Tatiana Ivashkov, leader of the Moroi Vampires and Dominic Sherwood played Christian Ozera, Lissa’s love interest. On May 20, 2013, the producers posted a behind the scenes photograph revealing the names of a few more cast members. Casting for the film was undertaken by Marci Liroff and Reg Poerscout-Edgerton.
Directed by: Mark Waters
Starring: Zoey Deutch, Danila Kozlovsky, Lucy Fry, Dominic Sherwood, Olga Kurylenko, Cameron Monaghan, Sami Gayle, Ashley Charles, Claire Foy, Sarah Hyland, Gabriel Byrne
Screenplay by: Daniel Waters
Production Design by: Frank Walsh
Cinematography by: Tony Pierce-Roberts
Film Editing by: Chris Gill
Costume Design by: Ruth Myers
Set Decoration by: Lisa Chugg
Music by: Rolfe Kent
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for violence, bloody images, sexual content and language.
Studio: The Weinstein Company
Release Date: February 14, 2014