Coming to theatres from writer/director Valerie Lemercier, Canal+, and Roadside Attractions is the fictional story of a songbird named ALINE.
Aline Dieu (Valerie Lemercier) is a young 12-year-old girl in a family of fourteen children living in 1960’s Quebec, Canada. Watched over by protective parents Sylvette (Danielle Fichaud) and Anglomard (Roc Lafortune), they also know their daughter is something special. A person who has taken notice is agent Guy-Claude (Sylvain Marcel) who sees the potential of the voice.
As they begin to make their rounds through television shows and venues, Aline finds herself growing up in the spotlight and growing fond of Guy-Claude. By the time she turns 20, she has decided that their age difference of twenty-six years does not matter. As success turns into worldwide success, Aline tries to balance her life between family, marriage and performing.
Finally able to marry Guy-Claude, her next challenge becomes having a family of her own. Once Aline gets a residency in Las Vegas, she tries to do a balancing act with everything in her life. That becomes even more complicated when Guy-Claude becomes seriously ill and life changes once again.
Where she finds solace is in the music.
Lemercier as Aline does the magical cgi act of going from Aline as a very young girl to a grown up and all while personally being in her mid-50’s. An impressive feat, it allows Lemercier to completely become Aline with no distractions or waiting for her character to grow. There are moments when I can see that the change needs a little tweaking but its easy to fall into the rhythm of the story.
Marcel as Guy-Clause is the Svengali convincing Aline’s parents that he can do right by the young singer and the entire family in fact. Falling in love with her becomes the second stage of their relationship but once Guy-Clause and Aline are together, Marcel melds into that part of the relationship with ease and with love.
Fichaud as Sylvette, Aline’s mother, has no trouble saying what she feels regarding just about another concerning her family. A tigress protecting her singing cub, she makes it clear after realizing her struggle to stop Aline’s feelings for Guy-Clause is not helping anything. In fact, it causes strife, especially when mostly everyone in the family works for Aline. Fichaud is a winner here and I just loved her performance.
Lafortune as Anglomard, Aline’s father, has nothing but pure pride for his daughter and what she accomplishes. Caring for the very large family, he does see the beauty in the family’s youngest child and what she can accomplish. Lafortune gives us such an endearing father figure that it could quite possibly make the rest of us jealous!
Other cast includes Antoine Vezina as Jean-Bobin Dieu, Pascale Desrochers as Pascale Dieu, Jean-Noel Broute as Fred, Sonia Vachon as Martine Leveque, Alain Zouvi as Docteur Lablanchette, Victoria Sio as the voice of Aline.
Roadside Attractions has, since 2003, grossed over $300M and garnered nineteen Academy Award nominations. They have had critical and commercial hits such as MANCHESTER BY THE SEA, BEN IS BACK, BEATRIZ AT DINNER, HELLO MY NAME IS DORIS, WINTER’S BONE and THE COVER as well as so many others. For more information of what Roadside Attractions has to offer please visit www.roadsideattractions.com.
ALINE is falls into the category of a biopic but also is written by Lemercier with musical numbers along the way. Lemercier gives Aline humor and consideration toward playing the role of someone that closely resembles a world-wide phenomenon. Nothing wrong with that if you do it right and Lemercier seems aware of how to do just that.
The cast supports her amazingly well, it is an easy fit with every character that comes on screen. Even when there is conflict, it is Lemercier’s rendition of Aline that finds a way to make it all work, even if sometimes it goes against what she really wants.
There is two hours and eight minutes of a path that goes from a very young girl to a woman who could never imagined that one day she would perform before millions.
In the end – it is in the power of love!