While largely unknown to American audiences, model-turned-actress Louise Bourgoin is an up and comer in France and it feels like she could be on the verge of a breakthrough, or at least proving she is much more than a pretty face. Known for starring in Luc Besson’s adventure film “The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec,” “The Girl From Monaco,” out-of-competition 2010 Cannes entry “Black Heaven,” and a recent appearance in William Monahan’s Tribeca entry “Mojave,” Bourgoin has been making strides towards a respectable career (she started out as a TV presenter), but a starring vehicle at Cannes, might just be her tipping point. The feature-length directorial debut of Laurent Lariviere (who’s made several shorts before this), “I Am A Soldier” stars a stripped down Bourgoin in a crime drama about an unemployed woman who tries to make good for herself in and around the world of dog trafficking. Here’s the official synopsis:
Sandrine, 30 years old, is forced to return home in Roubaix to live with her mother. She is unemployed and accepts to work with her uncle in a kennel, which turns out to be a hub for dog trafficking from Eastern Europe. She rapidly acquires authority and respect in this world dominated by men, and earns the money that could provide her with her freedom. But sometimes, even good soldiers stop taking orders.
“I wanted to talk about the sense of shame and failure that drives someone to return to the family fold after trying, unsuccessfully, to build a better future for themselves elsewhere,” the director said in a statement. “In the film, far from being the anticipated refuge, the family paradoxically becomes the setting for a confrontation and a loss.”
Co-starring Jean-Hugues Anglade, Anne Benoît, and Laurent Capelluto, “I Am A Soldier” screens in the Un Certain Regard section at Cannes. Watch the first two clips from the film below.