Pictured: Berenice Bejo, Pauline Burlet & Tahar Rahim
‘Le Passe’ (‘The Past’) is Iranian director Asghar Farhadi latest film. As some of you guys might remember, his previous film, ‘A Separation‘, won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 2012 and it was also nominated for the Best Original Screenplay Academy Award.
Originally, the first choice to play the lead in this film was French actress Marion Cotillard, but due to scheduling conflicts, she was forced to quit & the role landed Berenice Bejo’s lap. She’s equally beautiful, so no big loss. ‘Le Passe’ is in the running for the Palme d’Or at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival, so we look forward to the big red carpet premiere later this evening.
Here’s some plot action:
Following a four year separation, Ahmad returns to Paris from Tehran, upon his French wife Marie’s request, in order to finalize their divorce procedure. During his brief stay, Ahmad discovers the conflicting nature of Marie’s relationship with her daughter Lucie. Ahmad’s efforts to improve this relationship soon unveil a secret from their past.
Pictured: Berenice Bejo and Director Asghar Farhadi
Here are snippets from an interview w/ the film’s director Asghar Farhadi. You can read the full interview here.
What’s the writing process like? How do you build the story?
All my stories are written in a non-linear way. They don’t go from point A to point B. I always have several stories developing simultaneously and they come together during a shared situation. Here, I had the story of this man who’s been living away from his wife for a few years and now is traveling back to her to finalize their divorce. Then, I had the story of a man with a wife in a coma who has to take care of his child. These are elements that expand separately then converge to a single situation. I write intuitively. I start with a synopsis and immediately question it, trying to find out more about the little information that I have. Since I know that this man has come to get a divorce, I ask myself why he left four years ago? And now that he has returned to his wife’s house, what is
going to happen there? So many questions emerge from these few lines that by answering them the whole story is constructed.
How did you choose Bérénice Béjo ?
I first met her during a trip to the US, where she was promoting THE ARTIST. I immediately found her warm and genuine. One of those people you feel you can connect to. Her performance in THE ARTIST confirmed for me that she was also an intelligent actress. These two personality traits must be
present in an actor for me to choose them: being smart and exuding a positive energy on the screen, someone appealing with whom the viewers enjoy spending time.
She said that you were looking for something in her face on the first day of the rehearsals. What was that?
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Doubt, which is central to Marie’s character. Bérénice herself doesn’t doubt very much. But at an early stage of the rehearsals, she proved that she was able to perform doubt.