Aline, a new movie that just premiered at the Cannes Film Festival, is based on Celine Dion‘s life. And even though Variety described it as “kooky” and predicted Celine herself would be both “flattered” and “horrified” by it, the film received a standing ovation at the legendary festival.
Aline is directed by and stars French comedian Valerie Lemercier as a musical sensation named Aline Dieu, who’s based on Celine. Lemercier, who’s 57, plays Aline from youth to adulthood.
The outlines of Aline’s life closely follow that of Celine’s: She becomes famous, marries her manager, does a Las Vegas residency and has three children after struggles with infertility. But some details have been changed “to be more cinematic and romantic,” says Lemercier.
Throughout, Aline lip-syncs to Celine’s songs — including “My Heart Will Go On” — but they’re actually being sung by a soundalike named Victoria Sio.
According to Variety, when the film ended, the audience at the premiere gave it a standing ovation that lasted for a full five minutes; one woman in the audience told Variety, “I was actually crying.”
But is Celine herself O.K. with this movie? Lemercier tells Variety, “The first thing I did was give the script to her French manager. She read it and said it’s good for Celine; she said it doesn’t mock her. She could see how much I loved her.”
Lemercier adds, “That was the first thing I did, but Celine didn’t want to read anything. She didn’t see the movie.”
Lemercier, who’s never met Celine and has only seen her live once, then notes, “If I was Celine, I’m not sure I’d run to watch it. I hope she will recognize something [of herself in the film], but she should do what she wants.”
Aline has yet to find a distributor in the U.S.
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