|Directed by||Régis Roinsard|
|Produced by||Alain Attal|
|Written by||Daniel Presley
|Music by||Rob and Emmanuel d'Orlando|
|Edited by||Laure Gardette
Les Productions du Tresor
|Distributed by||Mars Distribution|
|Running time||111 minutes|
Populaire is a 2012 French romantic comedy-drama film directed by Régis Roinsard. It was co-written by Roinsard, Daniel Presley and Romain Compingt. Populaire was released in France on 28 November 2012. The film's title is taken from the name of the typewriter (Japy Populaire) used in the film. Populaire tells the story of Rose Pamphyle (Déborah François), who is trained by Louis Échard (Romain Duris) to become the fastest typist in the world through winning the 1959 international speed typing contest in New York City.
Set in 1958–1959, Populaire focuses on Rose Pamphyle (Déborah François), who lives with her widowed father and is destined to marry a son of the local mechanic. Rose travels out of town and applies for a secretarial job with an insurance agency run by Louis Échard (Romain Duris). Louis learns that Rose can type with extraordinary speed and he tells her to compete in a speed-typing competition if she wants the job. Louis then begins training Rose to become the fastest typist in the world.
- Romain Duris as Louis Échard
- Déborah François as Rose Pamphyle
- Bérénice Bejo as Marie Taylor
- Shaun Benson as Bob Taylor
- Mélanie Bernier as Annie Leprince Ringuet
- Féodor Atkine as André Japy
- Nicolas Bedos as Gilbert Japy
- Eddy Mitchell as Georges Échard
- Miou-Miou as Madeleine Échard
- Jeanne Cohendy as Françoise
- Caroline Tillette as La Vamp
- Frédéric Pierrot as Jean Pamphyle
- Marius Colucci as Lucien Échard
- Emeline Bayart as Jacqueline Échard
- Yannik Landrein as Léonard Échard
- Nastassja Girard as Evelyne Échard
- Dominique Reymond as Madamme Shorofsky
- Hugo De Sousa as Joe Taylor
- Serpentine Teyssier
- Joan Mompart
- Philippe Beau
- Nathan Rippy
- Fanny Sidney
Roinsard was planning to cast an unknown actress in the lead role of Rose Pamphyle, but chose Belgian actress Déborah François after she impressed him in her audition. After asking her father to find a typewriter for her, François practised for a week before the audition. She told Georgia Dehn from The Daily Telegraph, "I was so fast at the audition that everyone watching asked whether I had done it much before. Of course I didn't admit to practising. I told them, 'I'm just really motivated, I really want the part, I'm ready for competition.'" François believed that she connected with Rose as soon as she finished reading the script. She loved Rose's clumsiness and thought she was a bit like herself. François underwent six months of professional typing coaching before filming commenced. She had to practice for up to three hours every day. The actress explained that as they wanted it to be real, nothing is sped up in the film and her hands are featured in every scene.
Romain Duris was cast as Louis Échard. Duris was initially concerned about whether the costumes and style would take over causing the film to be stuck in the past. He said he needed the film to feel live and real. The actor watched several films starring Cary Grant and James Stewart as well as French classics directed by Marcel Carne and Claude Chabrol to see the differences between the provinces and Paris and the ways in which people behaved and spoke in the 1950s.
Costume designer Charlotte David created and designed many of the clothes for the film. David previously created costumes for OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies, which was also set in France in the fifties. Laure Guilbault from Women's Wear Daily reported that the look of Populaire was inspired by Funny Face, The Seven Year Itch and Alfred Hitchcock films. François revealed that she gave her own input for the costumes, saying "I loved being involved in the creation of costumes. I could say that these suspenders should be thinner, or this skirt should be worn with an extra petticoat, or have a bow added." David thought the right lingerie was crucial to the look and pointy bras, girdles and bodices were used to underpin the silhouettes. Some of the lingerie was made by Parisian corsetry house Cadolle.
As Rose is "a young provincial woman", she often wears pretty dresses, while Bejo's character Marie, who is married to an American man, has a casual early Sixties look. David explained that she wanted Marie to be a modern woman and she found printed fabrics for her costumes at De Gilles, a fabric shop in Paris, which she used to make short pants. She then completed the look with silk knit jerseys, ballet shoes, headbands and tight cardigans. Lelia Delval, the hairstylist for Populaire, gave Bejo a red wig to wear, which the actress liked so much, she dyed her real hair red for her next film. The men wore tailor-made suits and tie clips. Duris' character Louis sports a vintage Jaeger-LeCoultre watch.
The musical score of the film was written by French artists Rob and Emmanuel d'Orlando. The soundtrack also uses pre-existing music tracks. It was released on 28 November 2012. Roinsard decided to use music from three years before and after the year in which the film takes place. When choosing the pre-existing music, Roinsard combined his love of American lounge music, light jazz and '50s composers with French songs by lesser-known artists such as Jack Ary, Jacqueline Boyer and Les Chaussettes Noires, whose singer Eddy Mitchell appears in the film. Roinsard thought Rob and Emmanuel d'Orlando's score added "great emotional impact to the film." The director was inspired by both '50s and '60s recording methods for the score, which was recorded in France. Roinsard added "The end result is close to a musical and I'm delighted since Stanley Donen and Bob Fosse are favorites of mine."
Populaire had its world premiere at the Sarlat Film Festival. It was then released in France on 28 November 2012. Populaire played at the Glasgow Film Festival in February, before it was released in the UK on 31 May 2013. The film was released on 6 September 2013 in the United States.
Populaire earned €406,295 upon its opening weekend in France. The film opened to 450 theatres and landed at number three in the French box office top ten. As of 28 May 2013, Populaire has grossed $5,315,819 worldwide. Metacritic, which assigns a score of 1–100 to individual film reviews, gave Populaire an average rating of 60 based on four reviews.
Jérôme Vermelin from Metro France commented "Full of charm, this first film by young director Régis Roinsard is carried by an irresistible duo of Romain Duris and Deborah François." Liz Beardsworth from Empire gave Populaire three stars and wrote "Roinsard keeps control of a film that vacillates between frothy fun and more serious social comment and cleverly uses subplots and supporting characters (including The Artist's Bérénice Bejo) to touch on weightier themes. Quaint, but charming."
IndieWire's Kaleem Aftab awarded the film a B− and stated "With a great cast and sufficient laughs, Populaire could find international audiences, but it's no Amelie. The orthodox script will not broaden appeal outside the dedicated romcom market and the language barrier may also be a problem for some." Boyd van Hoeij, writing for Variety, said the film is "a colorful and impeccably styled romantic comedy that manages to turn the speed-typing competitions of the 1950s into entertaining cinematic fodder." He went on to praise the performances of Duris and François, but thought the story did not quite take any unexpected turns or reveal any deeper emotions.
|Award||Category||Recipients and nominees||Result|
|Athens Francophone Film Festival||Audience Award||Populaire||Won|
|César Award||Best Cinematography||Guillaume Schiffman||Nominated|
|Best Costume Design||Charlotte David||Nominated|
|Best First Film||Régis Roinsard||Nominated|
|Best Music Written for a Film||Rob and Emmanuel d'Orlando||Nominated|
|Best Production Design||Sylvie Olivé||Nominated|
|City of Lights, City of Angels Festival||First Feature Award||Populaire – Régis Roinsard||Won|
|French Film Awards||Director-producer duo||Régis Roinsard and Alain Attal||Won|
|French Film Festival in Japan||Audience Prize||Populaire||Won|
|Globes de Cristal Award||Best Actress||Déborah François||Nominated|
|Magritte Award||Best Foreign Film in Coproduction||Nominated|
|Best Actress||Déborah François||Nominated|
|San Francisco Film Festival||Best Narrative Feature||Populaire||Won|
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