2019 Arras Film Festival: filmmaker and screenwriter Lucie Borleteau on her second feature “Chanson douce”

Lucie Borleteau’s latest film as film director and screenwriter is an adaptation of Leïla Slimani’s award-winning best-selling novel “Chanson douce” (2016; US edition titled “The Perfect Nanny”; UK edition titled “Lullaby”). The film is a psychological thriller inspired by a tragic story that occured in New York in 2012.

In “Chanson douce” a young French couple decides to hire a nanny for their two young children; after a series of interviews, they think that Louise (played by Karin Viard) is the most qualified, which at first may seem like a good idea, but soon it will turn out to be the most dramatic choice they could ever have made. For those who are not familiar with the novel, and without giving away too much of the narrative, this is as far as I’ll go. The young couple is played by Antoine Reinartz and Leïla Bekhti.

Filmmaker Lucie Borleteau at the Arras Film Festival. Photograph: © Leo/Film Talk

After “Fidelio, l’odysée d’Alice” (2014), a favorite at several film festivals worldwide, this is Lucie Borleteau’s second feature as a film director. She co-scripted “Chanson douce” with Jérémie Elkaïm and Maïwenn. Previously she has been a supporting actress in a number of French films, worked as assistant director to Claire Denis, among others, and over the years she worked on a number of shorts in various capacities.

With “Chanson douce” she obviously knows what she’s doing. She did her homework and knows very well how to tell a story, build up the tension, and finally ends up with a suspenseful thriller. As a viewer, she makes you feel very uncomfortable watching the nanny in the company of those children; right from the very start, you know things will go wrong, and the camera helps you assuming it won’t work out. It’s only a matter of time before the ultimate tragedy unfolds in this disturbing crime drama.

Both Lucie Borleteau and her leading lady, French veteran actress Karin Viard, gave a press conference on November 10, 2019, at the Arras Film Festival to discuss the film which is released in several territories on November 27. The French-language audio is available right here.


[The trailer of “Chanson douce”]

FILMS

MON FILS À MOI, a.k.a. MY SON (2006) DIR Martial Fougeron TRAINEE ASST DIR Lucie Borleteau PROD Frédéric Niedermayer, Pascal Caucheteux SCR Martial Fougeron, Florence Eliakim CAM Giorges Arvanitis ED Laurence Briaud MUS Frédéric Fortuny, Fabrice Dumont CAST Nathalie Baye, Victor Sévaux, Olivier Gourmet, Marie Kremer, Emmanuelle Riva, Michèle Moretti, Valentine Stach, Thomas Silberstein

UN CONTE DE NOËL, a.k.a. A CHRISTMAS TALE (2008) DIR Arnaud Desplechin ASST DIR Lucie Borleteau PROD Pascal Caucheteux SCR Arnaud Desplechin, Emmanuel Bourdieu (inspired by “La Greffe” by Jacques Asher, Jean-Pierre Jouet) CAM Eric Gautier ED Laurence Briaud MUS Grégoire Hetzel, Mike Kourtzer CAST Catherine Deneuve, Jean-Paul Roussillon, Anne Consigny, Mathieu Amalric, Melvil Poupaud, Emmanuelle Devos, Chiara Mastroianni

L’HISTOIRE DE RICHARD O., a.k.a. THE STORY OF RICHARD O. (2007) DIR – PROD – SCR Damien Odoul CAM Patrick Ghiringhelli ED Sophie Delecourt MUS Buck 65 CAST Mathieu Amalric, Rhizlaine El Cohen, Stéphane Terpereau, Alexandra Sollogoub, Caroline Demangel, Lucie Borleteau (Geisha)

WHITE MATERIAL (2009) DIR Claire Denis ASST DIR Lucie Borleteau PROD Pascal Caucheteux SCR Claire Denis, Lucie Borleteau, Marie N’Diaye CAM Yves Cape ED Guy Lecorne MUS Stuart Staples CAST Isabelle Huppert, Christopher Lambert, Nicolas Duvauchelle, William Nadylam, Michel Subor, Isaach de Bankolé

AU REVOIR MY PARIS HEART (2010) DIR – CAM – ED Nicholas Iacovino CO-PROD Stephen Croce SCR Nicholas Iacovino, Stephen Croce, Lou Marrelli MUS  CAST Patrick Albenque, Stephen Croce, Lucie Borleteau (Jacqueline), Christian Erickson, Lou Marrelli

SLEEPWALKERS (2011) DIR Thierry de Peretti PROD Lucie Borleteau, Thierry de Peretti SCR Thierry de Peretti, Fabien Danesi CAM Thierry de Peretti, Mati Diop, Yannick Casanova ED Cécile Frey, Beatrice Herminie, Virginie Seguin MUS Pascal Tagnati CAST Pascal Tagnati, Mustapha Makaoui, Mati Diop, Jean-Emmanuel Pagni, Ugo Casabianca, Yannick Casanova, Fabien Danesi

LOVE AND BRUISES (2011) DIR Ye Lou ASST DIR Lucie Borleteau, Le Xu, Luc Catania PROD Nai An, Kristina Larsen, Pascal Caucheteux SCR Ye Lou, Liu Jie Falin CAM Nelson Lik-wai Yu ED Juliette Welfling MUS Peyman Yazdanian CASTING Lucie Borleteau, Richard Rousseau CAST Tahar Rahim, Corinne Yam, Jalil Lespert, Vincent Rottiers, Sifan Shao, Patrick Mille, Songwen Mille, Adèle Ado

LA FILLE DU 14 JUILLET (2013) DIR – SCR Antonin Peretjatko PROD Emmanuel Chaumet CAM Simon Roca ED Antonin Peretjako, Carole Le Plage MUS Thomas De Pourquery, Julien Roig CAST Vimala Pons, Grégoire Tachnakian, Vincent Macaigne, Marie-Lorna Vaconsin, Thomas Schmitt, Serge Trinquecoste, Lucie Borleteau (Gretchen)

FIDÉLIO, L’ODYSSÉE D’ALICE, a.k.a. FIDELIO: ALICE’S ODYSSEY and FIDELIO: ALICE’S JOURNEY (2014) DIR Lucie Borleteau PROD Pascal Caucheteux, Marine Arrighi de Casanova SCR Lucie Borleteau, Clara Bourreau CAM Simon Beaufils ED Guy Lecorne MUS Thomas De Pourquery CASTING Lucie Borleteau, Clément Quentin CAST Ariane Labed, Melvil Poupaud, Anders Danielsen Lie, Pascal Tagnati, Jean-Louis Coulloc’h, Nathanaël Maïni, Bogdan Zamfir

LE GRAND JEU, a.k.a. GAMES OF POWER and THE GREAT GAME (2015) DIR – SCR Nicolas Pariser PROD Emmanuel Agneray CAM Sébastien Buchmann ED Léa Masson MUS Benjamin Morando, Benoît de Villeneuve CAST Melvil Poupaud, André Dussollier, Clémence Poésy, Sophie Cattani, Nicolas Wanczycki, Gavino Dessi, Lucie Borleteau (Young Woman Gallery 2)

UN BEAU SOLEIL INTÉRIEUR, a.k.a. LET THE SUN SHINE IN and LET THE SUNSHINE IN (2017) DIR Claire Denis PROD Olivier Delbosc SCR Claire Denis, Christine Angot (book by Roland Barthes) CAM Agnès Godard ED Guy Lecorne MUS Stuart Staples CAST Juliette Binoche, Xavier Beauvois, Philippe Katerine, Josiane Balasko, Sandrine Dumas, Nicolas Duvauchelle, Ales Descas, Gérard Depardieu, Lucie Borleteau (Prisoner)

NUMÉRO UNE, a.k.a. NUMBER ONE (2017) DIR Tonie Marshall PROD Tonie Marshall, Véronique Zerdoun SCR Tonie Marshall, Marion Doussot CAM Julien Roux ED Stéphane Garnier, Marie-Pierre Frappier MUS Mike Kourtzer, Fabien Kourtzer CAST Emmanuelle Devos, Suzanne Clément, Richard Berry, Sami Frey, Benjamon Biolay, Francine Bergé, Anne Azoulay, Bernard Verley, Lucie Borleteau (Maure Marty)

CHANSON DOUCE (2019) DIR Lucie Borleteau PROD Nathalie Gastaldo, Pascal Caucheteux, Grégoire Sorlat, Philippe Godeau SCR Lucie Borleteau, Jérémie Elkaïm, Maïwenn (novel by Leïla Slimani) CAM Alexis Kavyrchine ED Laurence Briaud MUS Pierre Desprates CAST Karin Viard, Leïla Bekhti, Antoine Reinartz, Assya Da Silva, Noëlle Renaude, Rehab Mehal, Martine Chevallier