‘Aline,’ the Unauthorized Céline Dion Movie, Is Here — And It’s Glorious

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To talk about Aline, sharing the feeling of seeing a movie for the first time is an honor in my profession. I am touched. Exclusive right. Happy.

Get the platform to preach and celebrate Céline Dion’s unauthorized French biopic, which secures the rights to some of her songs but doesn’t use her name, and in it the 58-year-old writer-director of the film also plays Aline/Céline from 5 to 50 years old, which means a lot to me.

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The last time I felt this euphoric, I was in Las Vegas as Dion she’s standing on an ascent pedestal surrounded by a cascade of waterfalls, whipping her crystal beaded gown as she ushers in the key twist in “My Heart Will Go On”. Then I saw God, and He Now, she’s back to me in another form, if perhaps raising her eyebrows and a little nervously, that is: Aline.

There are events in life that move you to the core of who you are. The nature of your soul changes. Metadata that tells you who you are will transform. This happened on June 3, 2021. That’s the date the first trailer for Aline has been released.

The movie will be released in the summer of that year at the Cannes Film Festival, where a flurry of bewildering and yet ecstatic posts – indeed the Céline vibe – first appeared. Eternity has passed since then, in which it became my mission to experience Aline for myself. Now that I have, I hope one day you all will too.

Aline finally hit select cinemas in the United States on April 8, which will since be a religious holiday.

There are things that one must know about this movie, questions that must be answered, such as: Excuse me? Huh? What…? And why?

Aline directed by Valérie Lemercier, co-written and stars. The French filmmaker plays Aline Dieu, a French-Canadian entertainer who was discovered at the age of 12, has an intense romantic relationship with a manager two decades older than her, and has become one of the world’s greatest entertainers. most successful entertainer in history thanks to songs like “My Heart Will Go On” and a groundbreaking Las Vegas residency.

This seems like the life of a woman we know and love named Céline Dion. But it’s actually by Aline Dieu, a name that means “God Aline,” to the extent that the disclaimer plays before recording begins, “This film is inspired by the life of Céline Dion. . However, it is a work of fiction. ” Ensure!

The context of the film takes place over the course of nearly 90 years. Yes, you read that right.

It started in 1932, when Aline’s parents met in Quebec and started their cubs, eventually growing to 14 children, the last being little Aline. Everything hops over time. We met the Dieu family at a wedding where 5-year-old Aline got up to perform. At this point, you need to reiterate that, despite being only 5 years old, Aline was played by Lemercier, who was about 55 years old at the time of filming.

The little girl who ignores the microphone looks like a normal child, but then she turns around and you realize it’s Lemercier, a grown woman, shrunk through VFX to the size of a preschooler.

Valérie Lemercier as teenage Aline in Aline


This isn’t the last time you think, “What’s in Eddie Murphy’s Norbit damned? ” when you watch this movie. Things were, somehow, even more unsettling when Aline was 12 years old, and then a teenager, with all of her flamboyant movements rendered by Lemercier. And it’s not like you get so used to it that you accept the absurd as a fact of life, something that will eventually turn into a normal once Aline hits her teens, then twenties. , and more.

This casting gimmick is so weird that you can imagine it will define the movie completely. (In a recent interview with LA timeLemercier says they even filmed her playing Aline at 6 months old, but thankfully removed it.)

So let me blow your mind when I say, in the end, is this movie really… awesome? It’s not in the historical, cheeky way that we exaggerate how much we love something to be amusing. No, Alineunusual as it is, also quite emotional, at times even invigorating — and above all, a profound homage to Dion himself.

Putting aside the nightmare of adults like children, the film opens with a lively and humorous portrait of a large, loving Quebecois family.

There’s a bit of camp and boldness to that opening. When manager Guy-Claude Kamar (Sylvain Marcel), who replaced Dion’s eventual husband René Angélil, accidentally calls her “Céline”, her mother (played by Danielle Fichaud) corrects him: “Aline .” You are forgiven for waiting for her to look at the camera and wink.

But the remarkable thing about Aline is that it, overwhelmingly, values ​​itself.

But the remarkable thing about Aline is that she, overwhelmingly, takes herself very seriously.

Yes, it is a sprint through various milestones and the personal struggles of a singer “inspired by the life of Céline Dion”. But it’s also a passionately executed love story and to be honest, a pretty entertaining rendition of Dion’s most memorable moments.

I don’t like the fact that the controversial relationship between a 12-year-old and a 30-year-old who ends up falling in love is at the heart of the story here, but it is at the heart of Dion’s story, so it makes sense.

The whole question of grooming is briefly addressed, when Aline’s mother confronts Guy-Claude and threatens him: “If you ever put your fat feet on her…” But The film makes it clear that Guy-Claude doesn’t pursue a relationship until she’s 20, and that Aline is old enough when the physical act begins. And Lemercier has said that one advantage of her being an adult playing Aline at age 12 is that it makes those scenes less creepy. YES.

But her portrayal of how Aline balances her success and fame with her desire to become a mother and a wife ends up being more than you might expect in a genre that can be easy. easily break into the terrible Lifetime TV biopic territory.

Lemercier even won the César Award, the French equivalent of the Oscars, for her performance. She’s so good. Céline Dion’s nimbleness and lovable clumsy performance are all there, but also unexpected humanity.

What I’m saying is that I found a way to save the Oscars. The Academy Awards are awarded to: Celine. I mean: Aline.

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