For his film “Toni en Famille”, the young director Nathan Ambrosioni courted Camille Cottin

Lyvans Boolaky/Getty Images

Lyvans Boolaky/Getty Images

Nathan Ambrosioni (here on August 29 with actress Camille Cottin in Paris for the film premiere) dared to send his script to the actress and it paid off.

MOVIE THEATER – “I wrote for Camille”. This Wednesday, September 6, the film is released in theaters Toni with family, by Nathan Ambrosioni, a young director aged only 24. The screenwriter who grew up in Grasse, in the South of France, stands out in French cinema for his very self-taught career. He has been writing screenplays since childhood and has risen through the ranks quite impressively, without even having gone to film school.

Her new feature film tells the story of a stay-at-home mother, formerly a successful singer, who raises her 5 children alone, played by actress Camille Cottin.

In the casting of the youngest: the eldest of the siblings is played by Thomas Gioria seen in the dramatic film To the hilt, Léa Lopez plays Mathilde, Louise Labèque plays Camille and the last two Oscar Pauleau and Juliane Lepoureau play Timothée and Olivia.

Toni with family follows this single-parent family and the journey of a questioning mother. To earn a little money, she gives small concerts in the bars of her city. At 43, Toni sees her children grow up and her elders leave home to continue their studies. She wants to give meaning to her life. Reorienting himself then becomes his priority.

Camille Cottin, and no one else

Toni is a strong and free female character who is perfectly embodied by actress Camille Cottin. And this choice is far from being a coincidence: “I wrote for Camille, I had her in mind from the start. I know her filmography by heart, I think I have even watched more than 150 interviews with her,” laughs Nathan Ambrosioni at HuffPost. “I find her so brilliant, human, accessible,” he adds.

In admiration of the talent of the actress, the young director, recognized at the time for his feature film Paper flags, is not yet identified in the eyes of most actors. Not intimidated however, Nathan Ambrosioni wrote the script and decided to try everything and send it to the actress.

But as he told us, it was not won: “The day I sent her the script she was at the premiere in London for “House of Gucci” with actor Adam Driver and Lady Gaga. So I told myself it was going to be complicated.”

Finally, Camille Cottin read this script and met Nathan Ambrosioni quite quickly, to her greatest pleasure: “We obviously talked about the film but quickly about feminism, cinema and we loved each other straight away. » The actress then agrees to film with him, in the south of France.

A social film about reorientation

Toni with family is a dramatic comedy with a social subject as a backdrop: the difficulty of reorienting yourself at 40, 50 years old. The idea for this film was not born from a personal experience for Nathan Ambrosioni, but rather from his fascination with extraordinary personalities who go beyond the imposed framework.

“I wanted to find a happy medium between humor and emotion. I find it fascinating people who allow themselves to question their lives and their stability. Even though Toni’s life here is obviously precarious, she has 5 children and it’s far from easy. But there is a habit that sometimes develops, a comfort in habit. Now, this mother is trying to break that,” explains the director.

The film also very realistically highlights the stages of a reorientation and the passage through Pôle Emploi, the administrative chaos that Toni faces and which sometimes discourages her. Watch trailer :

Toni with familya feminist film about motherhood

This film inevitably highlights the role of the mother in our Western societies. Even if things are changing, motherhood remains hampered by clichés and demands. Having at the heart of the film a woman who raises her children alone without even showing a father was intentional on the part of the screenwriter:

“Our society tends to make the role of mother directly visible to women. We want the absent mother much more than the absent father. An absent mother is an unworthy mother, an absent father is a busy father when he is working” develops Nathan Ambrosioni.

Even if he immediately qualifies it by mentioning some developments, this remains part of our morals according to him. “It’s the feminism of the film: the fact that Toni manages to reorient herself without the help of a potential lover. There are so many examples in films or series of women who are accomplished thanks to a man, I really wanted anything but that. »

It’s no surprise to learn during this interview with Nathan Ambrosioni that his favorite director is Greta Gerwig, a screenwriter recognized for years for her committed and very feminist films, the latest of which is breaking box office records: barbie.

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