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Arlette, is the story of a fashion magazine director who is appointed Minister of Culture against all odds and who will be the target of violent ridicule. She will manage to make a place for herself in this political world where low blows and settling scores reign. In this third film by Mariloup Wolfe, with a script by Marie Vien, it is about power, the relationship with the image, manipulation and the defense of the book.
It is Maripier Morin who plays Arlette Saint-Amour. She returns with this film after the complaints she was subjected to. Is she dreading the movie premiere? “Yes. You should have seen me last night: she was crying, so anxious the day before the meeting with the journalists,” she confesses during our interview in the halls of the Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth hotel, last Tuesday.
“It’s a first role, I put myself in danger, but Arlette is also like that. She is rebellious, full of openness and resilience, which is what keeps us going. Arlette eats slaps, gets up and keeps going,” she says.
Mariloup Wolfe had other actresses in mind for the role of Arlette, then Maripier Morin auditioned. “Maripier came with a vulnerability, a fragility, that she moved me. She gave Arlette an extra dimension. She was very strong, and everyone who watched the auditions shared the same opinion. It was difficult: four auditions! She has proven herself. »
Maripier Morin does not have the impression of having “stolen” this role either. “I auditioned, I passed four of them, she underlines. I fought a lot, I got to the end, the last one lasted more than three hours. I came out sweating, burned out, I gave it my all. »
I made an artistic choice and I accept it. My choice was not to provoke at all. She had returned to work at that time, in 2021. The filming of FailureI didn’t think there would be a sequel to the case.
Let us remember that after the beginning of the filming ofArlette, Five people reported Press Racist comments, unsolicited sexual touching and physical assaults by Mariepier Morin between 2017 and 2020. Comments that had never been reported.
A “buoy” for Maripier Morin
the shooting ofArlette in 2021 it was a lifesaver for the actress and host. “She has become my buoy,” she says. My boyfriend, my family have been very present in the last two years, but professionally I had a motivation there. the shooting ofArlette it allowed me to embody a character, to take a break from myself. Arlette was going through things that I couldn’t handle. Through filming, I tried to heal my relationship with the image, the fact of valuing myself only in the eyes of others, in a sick way. I liked enlarged photos of myself, but she looked at me in the mirror and it was less than nothing: I had to give her that sick look back. »
He feels that not everything is fixed, but that he is on the right track. She says that she is aware of the inappropriate gestures and behaviors that she has engaged in and takes full responsibility for them. She admitted her mistakes, openly talked about her cocaine and alcohol use. She now leads a balanced life in the eastern townships and she gave birth to Margot on May 29.
“Everything goes smoothly. I pay attention to my mental health, it’s a daily job, I keep going to meetings with anonymous fraternities, it does me good to discuss, reflect. I want to have a happy life, surrounded by nature and my loved ones, my daughter and hopefully a second child! »
A political satire in five acts
Mariloup Wolfe had 24 hours to decide whether to dive into the project, as another director was originally supposed to make the film. “I immediately liked Marie Vien’s script, which presents a strong female character at the forefront of culture in a ruthless political world,” she says. I liked the idea that the political world is a great theater that always starts again, the references to the court of Versailles, to Louis XIV. There are also, in the script, references to Simone de Beauvoir, to Voltaire. »
“It’s a political satire in five acts with baroque music and operatic arias,” explains the director. I was inspired by movies like Ridiculous [de Patrice Leconte] for the game of the field where one uses all his verve and his spirit to defend his point of view and The crown for the aesthetics, the lights, the glamorous side. We shot in magnificent places like the National Assembly, the Château Frontenac, the Théâtre Capitole. »
Arlette evolves in a world without mercy, that of politics. But could it have been show business or finance? “These are shark worlds, but in both politics and entertainment, we follow public figures whose successes and failures are seen in every detail,” says Maripier Morin.
Unfortunately, we like to see people fall. There is an unhealthy side to our curiosity. Isn’t reality TV enough to satisfy our voyeuristic side? It’s disturbing. We are harsh, we have easy judgment, and we do not have easy forgiveness.
For screenwriter Marie Vien, who was inspired by her two years as press secretary for former Minister of Culture Liza Frulla, politics is a ruthless environment where one strikes low blows, at the same time within the same government.
“What I wrote is very nice, compared to reality, remember. Politics is a game with monarchical codes that have not evolved: we lose, we win, we manipulate, there are power wars. And when you are in Culture, you quickly realize that you have no power, so I like that a woman in Culture wants to become as important as the Minister of Finance. »
Does Mariloup Wolfe fear that the controversy overshadows the film? “My job is done, it’s up to the public to judge. My concern is that theater tickets are going down, we need to encourage our Quebec cinema,” she says.
Maripier Morin highlights the quality of the cast that surrounds him. “There’s Benoît Brière, Gilbert Sicotte, Paul Ahmarani, David La Haye. I feel a wave of positivity in relation to the liberation ofArlette, I feel an indulgence. People see that I am taking care of myself, it calms me down and makes me feel good. »
In theaters August 5