The screenwriter of The Aries Family looks back on the film’s success in France and abroad. codaits American adaptation, is in the running for three categories at the prestigious ceremony.
Winner of multiple awards and nominated in three Oscar categories, codathe American remake of The Aries Family , directed by Sian Heder, could well be named the best film of the year in the USA. A success from which Victoria Bedos, the author behind the story and the film, can no longer recover. Released in France in 2014, Éric Lartigau’s comedy about a teenager raised in a deaf family had gathered 7.5 million viewers in cinemas and gave Louane Emera the title role The Aries Familyto win the César for Best Female Hope. A few days before the Oscars in Los Angeles, he met the French screenwriter who could outshine Jane Campion, Steven Spielberg and Denis Villeneuve.
Madame Figaro.- Where does the story of The Aries Family ?
Victoria Bedos.- At that time I sang in a small group called Vicky Banjo and I’ve written screenplays for series, but not for cinema at all. One night at a party I met Eric Jehelmann, a producer who had just started his production company and was looking for screenwriters. The next day I found him to talk to about an idea I had in mind, inspired by the story of my father’s assistant. (Guy Bedos Ed) that was CODA (acronym for Child of Deaf Parents). It was all a bit vague, but he said to me: “Great, see you tomorrow at Stéphane Célérier’s office and we’ll get in trouble!” Arriving at the office of the head of Mars Distribution (I didn’t even know what a distributor was) I told him my story and how and since I had just come out of a singing lesson I added – without thinking – that my character was starting to singing (fortunately I’m not from swimming class, come to think of it!). He liked the idea and I learned to write a screenplay based on my feelings as a teenager to transfer to a deaf family. Originally, for me, numbness was a metaphor for a more emotional numbness; feeling different and not being heard by your family when you are a teenager.
“My mom said to me, ‘You’ll see, you’re going to Los Angeles! How will I do? I have to follow you…!” »
How was born coda the American remake?
There were many suggestions for film adaptations or even musicals. Some are still going, especially in China and Bollywood. Coda is a French production and I didn’t intervene in this adaptation, but I find the film very successful because it’s really the same story that was transferred to the United States. I was obviously a bit disappointed that they didn’t take on Michel Sardou, but hey… (laughs)! The director really reclaimed the story and I don’t think she saw it The Aries Family to put in their own dough. The actors didn’t see the film either, lest they ape something that already existed. I think the American cast is terrific, and since the actors are deaf in real life, the film is more intimate and closer to American independent cinema than The Aries Family this is really a popular comedy.
Are you in contact with the American teams?
The director Siân Heder wrote to me at the beginning of the adventure to thank me for this beautiful story and I recently congratulated him on his various awards (at Sundance, at the SAG Awards, at BAFA…). All this is done with tenderness and good intelligence.
How did you react when you found out about the dates? coda at the Oscars?
It’s so big it’s hard to see. American journalists interviewed me, a French TV station asked me to commentate on the Oscars on Sunday night… It’s all crazy! My mom said to me, “You’ll see, you’re going to Los Angeles! How will I do? I have to follow you…! “We’ll meet again in The Aries Family (laughs!). Of course the United States makes me dream, but I need to speak a little better English to work there and I’m currently concentrating on my first production. But this race for the Oscars gives me confidence, a desire to tell more great stories and makes me think that maybe I have a small place in the world of cinema.
What is your next film about?
This movie is called Leo and I (working title) and tells the story of a teenager bullied at school who disguises himself as a boy and lives his first love story. This young girl lives in a boarding house for the elderly run by her father (Philippe Katerine). By dealing with adolescent malaise and the problem of communication between parents and children, this work will not be very far from it The Aries Family. That’s kind of how I work: to create very specific contexts – here an old world – in which a teenager tries to express himself. If all goes well, filming will begin in May.
The Aries Family Will she get a sequel?
I didn’t really want to do that before, but ten years later I think it makes sense. So I can’t say anything official, but we’re considering it and I already have the story in my head!