A little over a year ago Berenice Bejo would probably have been best known to international audiences for her small role in the excellent Heath Ledger film “A Knight’s Tale.” But having swept just about every awards ceremony earlier this year, “The Artist” catapulted her and co-star Jean Dujardin into the limelight. Of the two it always seemed more likely that Dujardin would make the transition to Hollywood roles, and he wasted little time in lining up parts in Marty Scorsese’s “The Wolf of Wall Street” and George Clooney’s “The Monuments Men.” Bejo meanwhile has most notably picked up a role alongside her phenomenally talented compatriot Tahar Rahim in Asghar Farhadi’s (“A Separation”) next project, “The Past” (more on that in a second).
As well as a role in her husband’s next film “The Search” (that’s “The Artist” director Michel Hazanavicius in case you didn’t know) Bejo has now lined up another lead role in her native France in Michele Placido’s “The Choice.” It sounds like a hugely challenging one for the actress, who will play a woman who discovers she is pregnant after being the victim of a rape. Due to the fact that she and her husband have been unable to conceive a child the couple are then left with a terrible choice.
The film was announced at Les Arcs European Film Festival and was described as “not only a drama, it’s a powerful love story about these two people whose feelings for each other run so deep that they’re determind to overcome this tragedy and rebuild their life together.” The film, which was also written by Placido, is planned to go in front of cameras late next year, and at this point there are no other actors attached. It’s pleasing to see that although Bejo isn’t cashing in on her Oscar nod with potentially flimsy but well-paid jobs in the U.S., she’s seeing the benefit in terms of interesting and meaty roles back in France. And before we go, here’s a first look at her in “The Past,” the plot details of which are being kept under wraps. [Variety/The Film Stage]