Marion Cotillard Becomes A French Maid In Diary Of A Chambermaid

Give Marion Cotillard the award for being one of the more interesting actresses to hit screens in recent years. Ever since her Oscar-winning turn as Edith Piaf in La Vie en Rose, Cotillard has at least been on my radar. She’s done some very interesting roles, from playing John Dillinger’s moll in Public Enemies, to her turns in small films like Rust & Bone and even bigger films like The Dark Knight Rises. Now she returns to her native country in a new adaptation of Octave Mirbeau’s novel Diary Of A Chambermaid.

Diary Of A Chambermaid follows the life of Celestine, a young woman who works as a chambermaid for wealthy families at the end of the 19th Century. The current production is slated to be directed by Benoit Jacquot, who also did last year’s period-piece Farewell, My Queen, about the last days of Marie Antoinette. That film also focussed on the oft-ignored servant class, looking at Antoinette through the eyes of a servant girl who reads to her.

This is not the first time that Mirbeau’s novel has been treated in cinema. Jean Renoir directed his version of Diary Of A Chambermaid in 1946. It was even more famously tackled by Luis Bunuel, in typical surrealist style, in 1964 with Jeanne Moreau in the lead. Both Cotillard and Jacquot have some large shoes to fill, especially given Bunuel’s bizarre and acerbic take on the tale.

I think they’re both up for it, though. Cotillard has no need to prove her chops as an actress, and Jacquot’s last film was stellar to say the least. It will be nice to see Cotillard in a more serious role than the big tent-pole films she’s done in recent years.

Talks are still underway between director and star, however, and shooting on Diary Of A Chambermaid is not slated to begin until May 2014. It looks like we’re going to have a bit to see Marion Cotillard’s take on the vagaries of the 19th Century French class system.

What do you think of the proposed adaptation of Diary Of A Chambermaid? Can Cotillard fill the shoes of Jeanne Moreau? Let us know in the comments below.