Inception's Cotillard vs. Page, Wahlberg's The Fighter, Schreiber Faces Sexual Tension with Jolie

by Sophia Savage
July 20, 2010 5:00 AM
5 Comments
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Thompson on Hollywood

During Nicole Kidman talk with Marion Cotillard in the August Interview, Inception star Cotillard admits that “It’s a paradox to be an actress." Why a "paradox?" Well, it's in "living in the city, taking planes all the time, trying to find the right balance in this life, which is not so eco-friendly, and still try to respect the environment.” She was recently on a Greenpeace trip to the Congo, where she connected with the locals who live within the corruption of the timber industry - their "their hopes and despair and struggles" - and reveals she's been wanting to do a documentary about their forest. While she used to feel like an outsider ("a hippy") for being concerned with the environment, she's convinced the awareness is now spreading.

Thompson on Hollywood

Meanwhile, the other woman of Inception, Ellen Page, has been declared the film's "asexual sidekick" by Vulture writer Emma Rosenblum; "it makes sense that Nolan wouldn't dress her as he does Marion Cotillard's character, decked out in gorgeous, lingerie-inspired couture. And yet, did he have to make her look like a little boy?" While Rosenblum compares her less chic attire to a boy scout and a chef, she argues that there is a better way to show that Page's character, Ariadne, is 'smart' and not the romantic interest of DiCaprio's Cobb. But the fact is the two females in Inception were defined (or limited) very specifically - and against one another. Stereotypically speaking, Ariadne is reason and logic (masculine) and Cotillard's Mal is irrational and passionate (feminine) - and they dress accordingly. Both fight against each other to steer Cobb: one towards reality and one towards dreams. The curious thing is why Ariadne's character was female at all (other than to kiss Joseph Gordon-Levitt's Arthur - which was just a gentle reminder that Ariadne is, in fact, a female). It's no surprise the magazine covers went to Cotillard, and that her role had several more dimensions than Page's.

Thompson on Hollywood

- The Other Guys star Mark Wahlberg has perfect chemistry with co-star Will Ferrell in the Adam McKay film, argues Collider. But never mind that; Wahlberg calls The Fighter the "best film [he's] ever been in...the best story [he's] been a part of." The film (based on real life boxer Micky Ward's early training years) won't be released until December 10 and is bypassing the festival route, though Toronto was at one time discussed. Instead the filmmakers are just going to "go out and do big" with it. It's Wahlberg's baby: he worked on it for four and a half years. He brought on David O. Russell as re-writer/director and Christian Bale to co-star as his brother; "it's very real, it's a special movie," Wahlberg says.

And finally, Salt's Liev Schreiber tells CinemaBlend's Katey Rich about his nerves around working with Angelina Jolie. The "double whammy" for him: "I get very nervous around famous people and I get nervous around beautiful women." But once they started talking about their kids, the "sexual tension" was gone. While researching to prepare for his role as a CIA operative, Schreiber discovered there were more nerdy Aldrich Ames types than Daniel Craig Bond types, poli-sci analysts more than ex-military heros. But then throw in the requisite extensive weapons and combat training and the operatives became understandably more dynamic and cinema-ready, he says. "I like the fact that they’re nerds. I like duality in character, I like the opposition…I’m not that interested in working with impervious people."

[Cotillard photo courtesy of Interview Magazine]

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5 Comments

  • Stephanie | July 24, 2010 10:47 AMReply

    "The curious thing is why Ariadne’s character was female at all"

    Why shouldn't she be? Why does the default setting for a character have to be male?

  • Stephanie | July 24, 2010 10:46 AMReply

    "The curious thing is why Ariadne’s character was female at all"

    Why shouldn't she be? Why does the default setting for a character have to be male?

  • Brian | July 21, 2010 4:20 AMReply

    I find that take on Page's character ("asexual sidekick") pretty bizarre and not at all representative of what I saw in the film. (I like Rory's take much better.)

    Of course, I'm biased. I find Page incredibly beautiful, with a face that the camera loves and I am eager to see her in a decent grown-up movie built around her, with no annoying co-stars like DiCaprio. And I found her character in the film quite feminine. In contrast, I found Cotillard's character strongly dislikable and the actress profoundly unattractive. Look at that one expression on her face throughout the movie--she's a VILLAIN!

    The only other thing I've seen Cotillard in is PUBLIC ENEMIES, in which she was horribly miscast. And I can't imagine such a charisma-free actress playing such a forceful and dynamic performer as Edith Piaf and being able to pull it off. Had all the Academy voters never seen actual footage of Piaf?

  • Sergio | July 20, 2010 8:30 AMReply

    I admit Page does sort of get on my nerves. How old is she again? She always comes off like she's 12 years old. She was the only problem I had with Inception. They needed someone loder (or at least older looking) and more mature. Not someone who looks like a high school sophomore.

  • Rory | July 20, 2010 7:05 AMReply

    I thought Ellen Page was inspired casting as Ariadne. People are focusing on DiCaprio's Cobb as the emotional centre of the film, but I think they have that wrong. He's the spanner in the works. He chooses "Je Ne Regrette Rien" as the wake-up music, when in fact he regrets deeply - so much so that it puts everybody else in jeopardy.

    All the men put on stoic faces, and let Cobb convince them that he has it all under control. They go about their work, manfully getting the job done. It needed a woman to see that something was potentially very wrong, and that Cobb needed to put the matter right. She chooses as her totem a bishop (Greek: episkopos - guardian/overseer) and she fulfills that role in the story. She saves the day.

    She is the warm heart of the film.

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