an ode to difference and a hymn to love, Stéphanie Di Giusto’s “Rosalie” is a delight worn by Nadia Tereszkiewicz

an ode to difference and a hymn to love, Stéphanie Di Giusto’s “Rosalie” is a delight worn by Nadia Tereszkiewicz

2023-05-19 19:21:06

“Rosalie”, Stéphanie Di Giusto’s second film, was presented at Un Certain Regard, as was her feature debut, “La Danseuse”. The director signs with delicacy the desire of a woman to live her difference and to be accepted as such.

Rosalie has only one prayer, that her future husband loves her. This is one of the first images from Stéphanie Di Giusto’s latest film, screened on May 18, 2023 at Un Certain Regard. The filmmaker places her camera on a young woman like no other, played by actress Nadia Tereszkiewicz who offers, with great accuracy, all her candor to the character of a bearded woman.

Thanks to a meticulous shave, Rosalie hides a secret that her husband, Benoît Magimel alias Abel, discovers during his wedding night. If he married her for her dowry in order to cope with her financial difficulties, Abel nevertheless hoped to live with a “woman”. Rejected by her companion, to whom she nevertheless very quickly confided her desire to have children, Rosalie decides to live her difference and above all to put it at the service of the café which Abel owns and which is struggling.

The choice to assume its appearance

For his second film, as for his first, The dancer, also featured in Un Certain Regard, Stéphanie Di Giusto was inspired by a woman who existed, Clémentine Delait, a famous bearded woman at the beginning of the 20th century. The fiction constructed by the filmmaker sets out to show how, after recovering from the disgust she seems to inspire in her husband, Rosalie decides to be useful to him by using her appearance for the financial salvation of her household. The young woman knows that she will arouse the curiosity of the community in which she lives in this France of 1870 and relies on this feeling to expand the clientele of the bistro.

Rosalie’s candor and joie de vivre, finally liberated and free, make her a naturally endearing person even if her illness, hirsutism, and the physique it gives her shock as much as it fascinates. Word “freak” will soon blow away. The disgust that Stéphanie Di Giusto demonstrates is a very relative social construction. The character of a nun, addressing Rosalie with benevolence, says to her as follows: “We are all special cases, aren’t we?” And it is because Rosalie gains in confidence that Abel can (re)discover her and perhaps fall in love with his wife. Benoît Magimel captures the frustration and curiosity that inhabit his character whose point of view will gradually evolve.

Affirm the delicacy of Rosalie

The charm of his companion is sublimated by the photography of the film Rosalie – immaculate whiteness of the wedding dress and pastel tones – reinforce the delicacy of the heroine that the camera caresses while obviously filming up close. The story emphasizes the beauty and sensuality of a woman full of life. Contrary to what its detractors would have us believe. The lustful gaze of Barcelin, her husband’s creditor interpreted by a very fluid Benjamin Biolay in his role, is also irrefutable proof of this. Similarly, Rosalie’s sumptuous hair, filmed from all angles, is irresistible while the hairs of his beard, equally beautiful, are considered unsightly.

Going up on the stage of the Claude Debussy Theater, where her film was presented Thursday evening, Stéphanie Di Giusto, very moved by this second Cannes selection, thanked her actors for their generosity. “I enjoyed filming all these actors, quite simply. I had fun and I hope that is felt in this film”. Nearly two hours later, the filmmaker was able to observe – by applause – that her delicate Rosalie, carried by the more than convincing duo Tereszkiewicz-Magimel, was already unanimous.

The sheet

Genre : drama
Director: Stephanie Di Giusto
Actors: Nadia Tereszkiewicz, Benoît Magimel, Benjamin Biolay, Guillaume Gouix, Gustave Kervern, Anna Biolay and Juliette Armanet.
Pays : France
Duration : 1h55
Sortie : shortly
Distributer : Gaumont

Synopsis : Rosalie is a young woman in the France of 1870 but she is not a young woman like the others, she hides a secret: since her birth, her face and her body have been covered with hair. She is what is called a bearded woman but never wanted to become a vulgar fairground freak. For fear of being rejected, she was always forced to shave. Until the day when Abel, a debt-ridden café owner, marries her for her dowry without knowing her secret. But Rosalie wants to be seen as a woman, despite her difference, which she no longer wants to hide. Will Abel be able to love her when he finds out the truth?

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