Quite possibly the most popular black man in France right now, actor/comedian Omar Sy has joined the cast of Michel Gondry's upcoming adaptation of the late French author Boris Vian's sci-fi/fantasy novel Mood Indigo (also known as Froth on the Daydream and Foam of the Daze).
Omar will co-star alongside Audrey Tatou (forever to be known as Amelie) and Romain Duris, who I'm not familiar with.
The fantastical synopsis for the book, originally published in 1947, reads like this:
The protagonist, Colin, is a wealthy young man with a resourceful and stylish man-servant, Nicolas, as well as a fantastic olfactory-musical invention: the pianocktail. With dizzying speed, Colin meets and weds Chloe in a grand ceremony. Generously, Colin bequeaths a quarter of his fortune to his friends Chick and Alise so they too may marry. Happiness should await both couples but Chloe falls ill upon her honeymoon with a water lily in the lung, a painful and rare condition that can only be treated by surrounding her with flowers. The expense is prohibitive and Colin soon exhausts his funds. Meanwhile, Chick's obsession with the philosopher, Jean-Sol Partre, causes him to spend all his money, effort and attention upon collecting Partre's literature. Alise hopes to save Chick financially and renew his interest in her by persuading Partre to stop publishing books. She kills him when he refuses and seeks revenge upon the booksellers. Colin struggles to provide flowers for Chloe to no avail and his grief at her death is so strong his pet mouse commits suicide to escape the gloom.
Yeah, so um, WTF? :)
By the way, "Jean-Sol Patre" isn't a typo; the narrative satarizes the French existentialist philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre.
But I'm intrigued though; I love what Gondry did with Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind and The Science Of Sleep; not-so much for Be Kind Rewind and The Green Hornet though. But he's a director who I can say definitely has my attention.
And I suppose I can see why he'd be drawn to Mood Indigo.
This won't be the first time a film has been made based on the book – a book I haven't read, but I might check out eventually; although my "to-read" pile is miles tall so it won't be for awhile.
The company behind the film, the Pan-European powerhouse StudioCanal, unveiled its slate of films in Berlin, shopping them out to territories all over the world, and, as Screen Daily notes, Gondry's Mood Indigo project has buyers swarming.
The film is scheduled to begin shooting in April.
As for what role Omar Sy will play in it… not sure really. And no, it's not the "man-servant." At least, according to IMDBPro, that part has already been cast. In fact, all the major parts, as mentioned in the above synopsis, have been cast, so I don't know who Omar Sy has signed up to play.
We'll find out eventually, I'm sure.
As I've noted in previous posts, Mr Sy has been shooting his next (post-Intouchables) film – a buddy-cop-action flick titled On The Other Side Of The Tracks -, and is currently enjoying the kind of success that I don't know if French cinema has ever seen as far as black actors are concerned; and something tells me it's only a matter of time before he heads West for what may be the more lucrative waters of Hollywood – especially if his growth in France eventually hits the proverbial glass ceiling.
The Icing on the cake? He won the Lumière award – essentially the French equivalent of the Golden Globes – for Best Actor, and has been nominated in the same category for a César Award – the French equivalent of the Oscars, which he'll likely win at the ceremony later this month.
Watch for him to eventually break into Hollywood with his first English-language feature project.
Anyone read Mood Indigo?