By Kate “One Take Kate” Taylor
You’ve got to love an underdog story, or at least I do. They’re one of my favourite kinds of narratives, so I was intrigued about what Marguerite might hold…
There’s an underdog story at a meta level playing out here too. I was perplexed after the screening of Marguerite that I attended, when I was standing in the lobby of the cinema finding myself in front of a standee for Florence Foster Jenkins. It set off my “Huh?” alarm and I made a mental note later to research what was the parity between these two films and their simultaneous cinema release.
Turns out, as most are aware now, FFJ is based on the real-life tone deaf US socialite of the same name. While Marguerite has been the love affair of obsessed French director Xavier Giannoli for almost a decade, his fascination with FFJ, IRL spurring him on to create the sympathetic and wonderful character of Marguerite Dumont (Catherine Frot). In this kinda heart-breaking piece Giannoli discusses that he heard about the US Florence Foster Jenkins project one month before he was due to start shooting Marguerite. What a punch in the guts for Xavier eh?
|Marguerite Dumont (Catherine Frot) in all her glory. Peacock by fashion choice, peacock by tonal quality. Image via|
I’m yet to see FFJ, but I fell in love with Marguerite Dumont that’s for sure. Catherine Frot’s Marguerite is fearless, determined and creative – even if she is wildly deluded and incredibly lonely. It’s a black comedy with multiple stakeholders invested in keeping up the charade for the benefit of Marguerite’s feelings and their personal gains.