During the Cannes Film Festival, surrealist filmmaker Michel Gondry revealed his plans to make a French-language film with internationally adored ingénue Audrey Tautou. At the time, there was no word on the film’s plot, production schedule or cast beyond Tautou. Now thanks to Allocine (via The Playlist), we know that production will begin in March 2012 on Gondry’s adaptation of the strange romance novel L’ Ecume des jours by Boris Vian, or as it’s called in America Froth of a Daydream.
The novel centers on four lovers: Colin & Chloe, and Chick & Alise. Colin is an absurdly wealthy young man who is so taken by love and its power that after wedding his beloved Chloe, he gives his friends Chick and Alise a sizeable chunk of his fortune so that they too can marry and be happy! Sadly, Chick instead uses the money to enhance his collection of writings by philosopher Jean-Sol Partre, which sends Alise into a bizarre bit of revenge. In the mean time, Colin and Chloe’s fairytale romance is thwarted when she is diagnosed with a curious disease that causes a water lily to grow in her lung. The only treatment (not cure) is to eternally surround her in flowers, which becomes financially crippling to Colin. With such strange flourishes as a flower-in-the-lung disease, an obsession with philosophy and a “fantastic olfactory-musical invention: the pianocktail,” it’s easy to see why Gondry would take an interest in this weird little love story. And though I’m not generally a fan of his bittersweet romances, I am sure his visual flare will suit the materials and make it well-worth watching.
While Tautou is set to play the lily-lunged Chloe, her L’Auberge Espagnole co-star Romain Duris has just signed on to play her fawning and flower-financing paramour Colin. But before playing these ill-fated lovers, they’ll both reprise their roles from L’Auberge Espagnole and its sequel Russian Dolls in the third installment of Cédric Klapisch‘s film series centered on international lovers, Chinese Puzzle. As to who will take up the roles of Chick and Alise, it’s too soon to say. Though it can easily be assumed Gondry will have his pick of performers. Personally, I’d like to see Ludivine Sagnier or Duris’ The Beat My Heart Skipped co-star Mélanie Laurent take on Alise, as each has a dynamic on-screen presence and both have been building their international reputations with roles in Mesrine and Inglorious Basterds respectively. But with such noteworthy leads in place, my guess is we’ll have casting updates coming soon!
What do you make of this latest casting news? Who would you like to see join L’ Ecume des jours?