We’ve seen Marion Cotillard as Edith Piaf, as a femme fatale, and more recently as a disabled whale trainer, so on the surface, playing a chambermaid doesn’t exactly seem challenging. However, when you’re treading on territory already tackled by the greats Jean Renoir and Luis Bunuel, there is certainly a lot to live up to.
The actress is in negotiations to take the lead in another cinematic adaptation of Octave Mirbeau‘s classic “Diary Of A Chambermaid” for French helmer Benoit Jacquot (“Farewell My Queen,” “Sade“). Cotillard will take the lead role of Celestine, a chambermaid for wealthy families through whose eyes we see the seamier sides of upper class life. Among them, her first employer becomes so obsessed with her boots that when he dies, he’s found with one of them stuffed in his mouth. And she later comes between the power struggle of a bourgeois couple.
It’s been nearly fifty-odd years since the last time the story was mounted on screen, and certainly today the adaptation can push the boundaries a little more. This is expected to be a major role for Cotillard with Variety noting that she’ll be “appearing in virtually every shot.” Sounds tantalizing indeed, but we’ll have to wait: lensing isn’t expected to get underway until March 2014. That said, Jacquot (who also co-wrote the script) is rounding up the team behind “Farewell, My Queen” — the Marie Antoinette film with Lea Seydoux and Diane Kruger — which recently nabbed ten Cesar nominations. So expectations will be high. Until then, watch Renoir’s take on the material below.