Lisbon & Estoril Film Festival

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Mathieu Amalric - Actor and Director

Mathieu Amalric

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At the age of 18, a small role in Favorites of the Moon, by Otar Losseliani, awoke Mathieu Amalric’s interest in the backstage of cinema, which led him, at first, to take on technical roles, such as an Assistant Director, in movies by Louis Malle, Danièle Dubroux, Peter Handke, Alain Tanner, and João César Monteiro. He directed his first short-film, Marre de café during the 80s, followed by Sans Rires (1991), which was screened at the Premiers Plans d’Angers Festival, where he met Arnaud Desplechin, who would offer him, some years later, a role in My Sex Life… or How I Got Into an Argument, and for which he would win the César for Most Promising Actor in 1997. In the same year, he directed his first feature film, Mange ta soupe, considered by Jean-Luc Godard “one of the biggest surprises of the year”. In 2004, he worked with Arnaud Desplechin once again, in Kings and Queen, for which he won the César for Best Actor. Often seen in films by the filmmakers Alain Resnais, Otar Losseliani, and Arnaud Desplechin, we can also find his vast and diversified work in movies such as Genealogies of a Crime by Raúl Ruiz, Three Bridges Over the River by Jean-Claude Biette, Munich by Steven Spielberg, Marie Antoinette by Sofia Coppola, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly by Julian Schnabel, 007 - Quantum of Solace by Marc Forster, You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet! by Alain Resnais, Lines of Wellington by Valeria Sarmiento, Cosmopolis by David Cronenberg, The Grand Budapest Hotel and The French Dispatch by Wes Anderson, Winter Song by Otar Losseliani, Never Ever by Benoît Jacquot, Daguerrotype by Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Ismael’s Ghosts by Arnaud Desplechin, Wonders in the Suburbs by Jeanne Balibar, and An Officer and a Spy by Roman Polanski.

Besides being one of the most prestigious French actors of our time, Mathieu Amalric has been consolidating his work as a director. The Wimbledon Stage (2001) is a poetic and mysterious journey with Jeanne Balibar through the Italian city of Trieste. Public Affairs was screened in the Directors’ Fortnight during the Cannes Film Festival in 2003. In 2010 he directed his fourth feature, On Tour, for which he won the Best Director Award in Cannes. In 2014, with The Blue Room, screened in the Un Certain Regard section in the Cannes Festival and also in the New York Cinema Festival, he won the Best Director Award in the Mar del Plata International Film Festival. In 2017, Amalric shot Barbara, a biographic film of the iconic French singer, played by Jeanne Balibar. Barbara received strong compliments from critics as well as many awards, among which the Prize for the Best Poetic Narrative in the Un Certain Regard section in Cannes, and the Prize for Best Actress given to Jeanne Balibar in the Lumières Awards and in the César Awards. His eighth feature, Hold Me Tight (Cannes, 2021), is a powerful adaptation of the play I’m Coming Back from Far Away by Claudine Galea, which tells the story of the departure of Camille, played by Vicky Krieps, in a powerful, deep, and disturbing role.

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