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The 5 Best Marion Cotillard Movies

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As a big fan of Tim Burton, I watched Big Fish (2003) in my early years of watching movies, and that is when I first noticed Marion Cotillard. This French actress has already bagged an Academy Award, a BAFTA Award, a Golden Globe Award, two César Awards, a European Award, and a Lumières Award for her amazing portrayals. Be it a legendary singer, Picasso’s mistress, a great spy; every role she plays, she does justice to it.




Cotillard’s artistry leads many people to believe she is a method actress. But when asked about it, she answers in the negative. Not being a method actress, she still manages to be the perfect vessel of so many personalities. This proves how great of an actress she is.

This evergreen actress turns 44 today. Here is a list of the 5 brilliant performances by Marion Cotillard.

5. The Immigrant (2013)

Marion Cotillard Movies

“The Immigrant” is about a Polish Catholic who crosses the ocean in 1921 and enters Ellis Island with her sister, in flight from war and deprivation. Marion Cotillard plays the role of the protagonist, Ewa Cybulska in the film.

It is a story about rejection and austerity. The film portrays a vivid story of a woman who struggles her way through consistent denial and damnation and surely experiences the opposite of the heaven she crossed the ocean for.




Cotillard approached this role with the utmost subtlety. You can see the vulnerability in her eyes and truly connect with the character. She is often compared to silent actresses because of this quality of expressing emotions using such few words.

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4. Rust and Bone (2012)

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Jacques Audiard‘s soul-searching drama “Rust and Bone” (De rouille et d’os) took inspiration from two stories in a short-story collection by Canadian author Craig Davidson.

Stephanie, a whale trainer, loses her legs in a terrible accident. Her life tears apart. She gets into physical trauma and emotional trauma as well. It is a race between dream and dolor. Cotillard’s quick changes in expression and always staying on the toe to change mannerisms say a lot about her diversity in acting. She has an astounding capability to induce severe emotional range to her portrayal, this shows her divination once again in this film with a captivating performance.




Though playing a role in this film did not bring her any major awards, Marion Cotillard’s role as Stephanie is one of her notable works.

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3. A Very Long Engagement (2004)

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The story of “A Very Long Engagement” (Un long dimanche de fiançailles) is a series of events set after World War I, directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet. Marion Cotillard plays the role of Tina Lombardi, a vengeance-seeking prostitute who despises the upper-class societies.

The society holds a certain low status for prostitutes, but Cotillard makes sure to portray the character perfectly, making Tina Lombardi a woman with dignity and courage. In the end, Tina realizes her vendetta was futile. Her mind takes another trail of emotions. From a revenge-seeking persona, she takes a complete 180-degree turn.




Apart from being nominated for both the cinematography and art direction at the Academy Awards, this film opened the window of success for Marion Cotillard. She won the César Award as the Best Supporting Actress.

Must Read – The Movie Review: ‘A Very Long Engagement’

2. Two Days, One Night (2014)

Marion Cotillard Movies - Two Days One Night

If you notice the title closely, you will understand it indicates to the weekend.

In “Two Days, One Night” (Deux jours, une nuit), the Dardennes brought the novelty in their work out through maintaining a narrative tension in the thrilling social realist drama. The film is about Sandra (portrayed by Marion Cotillard), a single mother about to lose her job. Either Sandra loses her job as a sacrificial victim of a solar company she works at or her co-workers all get bonuses. There are 16 co-workers and Sandra has to convince at least 9 people to vote on her favor to keep the job.

Cotillard portrayed the role of a mother who has everything on the line. Sandra goes door-to-door on the weekend and begs her co-workers to keep her in the factory. This, added to her anxiety issue, severely pushes her depression symptoms: suffocation, throat-constriction and a troubling addiction to Xanax. Her performance is outstanding. She portrays her pain and misery in such a way that the viewer must empathize with her. More than anyone else, a mother can thoroughly relate to this character.




Among many award nominations and wins, Marion Cotillard was nominated in the ‘Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role’ category at the 87th Academy Awards.

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1. La Vie en Rose (2007)

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This is the movie through which Marion Cotillard achieved the status of a legendary actress. “La Vie en Rose” (La môme) is a French biographical musical film about the life of French singer Édith Piaf. The film was co-written and directed by Olivier Dahan, and the role of Édith Piaf was played by none other than Marion Cotillard.

For the film, Cotillard embraced long hours of wearing prosthetics every day. She had to wear a bodysuit to have more bulk and latex with acrylic paint on her face as well. The actress has stated at an interview, “Sometimes I wanted to kill all those people around me, touching me”. But even after, she did it with perfection and diffused in her character all so well.




Her acting is so convincing and her lip-syncing is so believable that the viewers while watching the film, might forget that this is not Édith Piaf herself. Cotillard’s body language, posture, gesture everything is accurate. She studied Édith Piaf and molded herself into the singer’s personality by channeling her characteristics from within. Her work in this biopic will forever be considered one of the best performances in motion pictures.

Marion Cotillard won an Oscar, a Golden Globe, a Bafta and a César by becoming Édith Piaf in this film.

A world-class actress such as Cotillard makes sure she gives it her all when it comes to portraying any character- be it a major character or a minor one. Apart from her profound performances in the 5 films mentioned here, we see her in Public Enemies (2009), Inception (2010), Midnight in Paris (2011), The Dark Knight Rises (2012), Allied (2016) and many more films. And we cannot put a finger at her saying there is any scope of amelioration.

It has almost been 26 years since Marion Cotillard first joined the movies, and it looks like she is not going to stop astounding us with her amazing performances anytime soon. That is good news.




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