Two new French actors enchant our evenings

Galatea Bellugi transperces the screen in “l’Apparition”

A film and a play have revealed two newcomers on the French scene, Galatea Bellugi in “l’Apparition”, a film by Xavier Giannoli and Rod Paradot who plays an unhappy teenager with Yvan Attal in “Le Fils”, the new play by Florian Zeller. Both are fabulous actors with original looks, a genuine naiveté and singular beauty.

Vincent Lindon right is in charge of the church’s enquiry on the apparition with a panel of psychiatrist and priests

Jacques is a war reporter whose close friend, a photographer, has just died in Libya or Syria? The first scene of the film shows him cleaning a camera covered in blood. While undergoing a serious breakdown, he receives a call from the Vatican who wants him to research a case of an apparition of the Virgin Mary in the Hautes Alpes, near Gap.  The film becomes a thriller where this agnostic journalist tries to understand the young Anna, played by Galatea Bellugi. How can a young woman be caught in miracles nowadays?

In her convent, Anna fills mattresses with feather as seen here

The relationship that surges between the excellent Vincent Lindon and the charming Anna, makes a wonderful 127 mns with the exception of the far fetched ending. But what is totally convincing is the talent of this new 20 year old actress, whose Italian father is an actor and Danish mother is a costume designer. She made her début with Ariane Mnouchkine in Théâtre du Soleil, and has since been in 7 films.

Rod Paradot in “Le Fils” at Comédie des Champs Elysées

Rod Paradot is 21 and has already won a Cesar for “Meilleur Espoir” last year. He plays the part of an adolescent who has given up on everything and cannot survive his parents’ divorce. We see him play on his mother (an excellent Anne Consigny) and then his father’s sense of guilt. The father, played by Yvan Attal (who often reminded me of Dustin Hofman) has remarried a young sweet woman and has a baby son. The theme could sound cliché with the story of a boy caught in the wave of a divorce but it is treated with great talent by both actors and Paradot’s awkwardness and mediocre looks (in the play) make it even more interesting.

Rod Paradot with Frédérique Bredin, President of CNC,  at the Cannes film festival in 2015

He was discovered by movie director Emmanuelle Bercot while studying carpentry in High school and won a Cesar for his first film “La Tête Haute”. He will appear in “Luna” next April.

(“L’Apparition” in all movie theaters in France and “Le Fils” at Comédie des Champs Elysées)

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