Sunday, July 24, 2016

Paris Runaway by Paulita Kincer: Let's play the casting game.


Last week Paulita Kincer shared her dream cast for a screen adaptation of her novel Paris Runaway, her latest book set in France and a terrific beach read. You can check out my take on the book  if you like. Or visit the book's page on GoodReads etc.



I loved her suggestion of Julianne Moore for Sadie, the middle-aged, red-headed divorced mother of two young women, a college student and a high school senior, the so-called Paris Runaway who goes chasing after a French exchange student. 



And no one could fault her choice of Jean DuJardin as the sexy fifty-something divorced French father of the young man. Auguste and Sadie band together to find their kids.

The daughters, Madison Davenport from Criminal Minds as the older daughter Evangeline and Willow Shields from Hunger Games as Scarlet, the Paris Runaway are terrific.

That brings me to my only quibble. Paulita's choice of Ansel Elgort, the popular young actor who starred opposite Shailene Woodley in The Fault in Our Stars, to play Luc, the French student.






I get it. Elgort is a handsome young man and a talented actor. Tall, lean, athletic looking. He's a name in Hollywood, a known quantity. A studio would easily be onboard with the costar of one of the decade's most popular films, both with critics and at the box office. On the other hand, with the powerhouse talent of Moore and DuJardin, we don't need another known quantity quite so much. We can look beyond the choices Hollywood wants to serve up.

Paulita could very well be right, that Ansel Elgort could pull off a French accent. The thing is I don't want an American actor pulling off an accent that's notoriously difficult to nail. Did you see Joseph Gordon-Levitt in last year's The Walk where he played the French tightrope walker, Phillipe Pettit? Laughable! Non! I would love to see the real thing, and I think young American women would too. Not an American boy pretending to be French. We want a genuine young Frenchman with a sullen, sightly angry edge. But what do I know about young French actors? I don't know enough about French film to know who today's version of a young Jean Paul Belmondo or Alain Delon could possibly be I took to google, looking up young French male actors, under 30. That didn't work, the results were a motley crew of French actors, mostly in their 30's or older. Vincent Cassel's name popped up a lot. Vincent Cassel has to be at least forty. Sorry, google, Cassel will NOT work for Luc.




Then I found this guy. His name is Louka Meliava and he can currently be seen in Camping 3, a French comedy about, yup, camping. His credits also include Breathe 2014, Beauty and the Beast 2014 and One Wild Moment 2015. By the way, Vincent Cassel—the French thief in the Oceans 11 movies—starred in the last two!
La Belle et la Bete/Beauty and the Beast

Un moment d'égarement/One Wild Moment

Camping 3


To be honest, I can't find his age anywhere. He looks young enough to me but he could be closer to 30 than 20. At my age, I've lost all perspective!

What do you think? Does he work as an 18 year old French exchange student? If you're a fan of French films can you suggest a young French actor you'd like to see in the role? It's not a huge part, but it's pivotal. He has to be able to, as Paulita notes, "pull off an insouciant French teenager who bumbles his way into trouble."


Let me know in the comment section below!

I'm linking up with Paulita's Dreaming of France meme.
Today she has a really lovely post about falling in love with France.




2 comments:

  1. Touché, my friend! Thanks for agreeing with me on some of the casting choices. And, just to give Monsieur Dujardin his due, he's only 44, but could definitely play the late 40s father in my movie.
    It looks like your choice for Luc, and I understand your reasoning, Louka is playing a teenage character in Camping 3, so he could definitely pull it off. Or maybe you and I will have to go on a French screening to find the perfect unknown actor.
    Thanks for playing along with Dreaming of France and for featuring my novel!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like the idea of a French screening! Let's do that; what's halfway between L.A. and Columbus?

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