'It's every actor's dream': Quebecers walk red carpet in Cannes for Céline Dion-inspired film

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Roc Lafortune, Danielle Fichaud, Valérie Lemercier, Sylvain Marcel and Pascale Desrochers on the red carpet at the Cannes festival for the world premiere of Aline. (Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images - image credit)
Roc Lafortune, Danielle Fichaud, Valérie Lemercier, Sylvain Marcel and Pascale Desrochers on the red carpet at the Cannes festival for the world premiere of Aline. (Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images - image credit)

A film based loosely on the life of Céline Dion premiered at the Cannes Film Festival on Tuesday, highlighting not just the Quebec icon, but several Quebec actors who played substantial roles in the movie.

Among them is Sylvain Marcel, who plays the role of Aline's manager and love interest, inspired by René Angélil.

Speaking from France on Wednesday, Marcel told Radio-Canada that getting to walk the red carpet at the prestigious festival was a dream come true.

"It's every actor's dream to walk up those stairs at Cannes," he said. "I put on long sleeves to stop pinching myself because I was full of bruises," he joked.

Marcel was accompanied by fellow Quebecers Pascale Desrochers, Danielle Fichaud and Roc Lafortune.

Aline is a biopic-style film about a Quebecois singer from a humble, music-loving family who is taken under the wing of a producer who hopes to make her a star.

Valery Hache/AFP via Getty Images
Valery Hache/AFP via Getty Images

The film has been marketed as an "unofficial" biography of Dion's life; its trailer features her music and its protagonist bears her likeness.

The film, which is set to arrive in theatre in Quebec in November, was directed by Valérie Lemercier, who also plays the lead role.

Lemercier told Radio-Canada that she was surprised to be invited to the festival, where the film was presented outside of competition, and pleased with the reaction from viewers.

"I was happy to have my new family from Quebec mingled with my three sisters, whom my producer kindly invited. It was very moving, because [Aline] is also a film about family," she said.

Lemercier, originally from Dieppe, France, said she tried to recreate the Quebecois accent for her role in the film, but admitted she only succeeded so far.

"You will certainly find — and you are right and it struck me yesterday — that my accent is not perfect. I preferred to do too little rather than too much."

Lemercier said that in making a film based on Dion's life, she wanted it to be a genuine "homage" rather than a satire.

She confirmed that the real Dion's manager in France had read the script but that the star herself had not yet seen it.

Aline has been buzzed about as the most high-profile Canadian film to come out of this year's festival.

It is the only Canadian-produced film to be an official selection of the 2021 festival.

Aline: The Voice of Love is set to be released in Canada on Nov. 26, 2021.

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