Parallel lines

Cédric Anger on In The Name Of My Daughter and his ongoing partnership with André Téchiné.

by Anne-Katrin Titze

Adèle Haenel and Guillaume Canet in André Téchiné's In The Name Of My Daughter
Adèle Haenel and Guillaume Canet in André Téchiné's In The Name Of My Daughter

Next Time I’ll Aim For The Heart (La Prochaine Fois Je Viserai Le Coeur) director Cédric Anger was the co-screenwriter for André Téchiné's casino family thriller In The Name Of My Daughter, aka French Riviera (L’Homme Qu’on Aimait Trop). In both films he returns to the Seventies and to real-life murder cases with Guillaume Canet as the male lead and in both, possibly aided by the costumes he is wearing and the period haircuts, Canet looks strikingly like François Truffaut, which makes for an interesting obstacle to overcome in performance. And overcome it he does.

A dignified Catherine Deneuve as Renée Le Roux runs a casino in Nice that the criminal element has its eyes on in In The Name Of My Daughter. Guillaume Canet is the hieroglyphic lawyer Maurice Agnelet with his hands in many businesses. He is the man referenced in the French title, who "was loved too much."

Cédric Anger: "We shot my film afterward but the project was there before."
Cédric Anger: "We shot my film afterward but the project was there before." Photo: Anne-Katrin Titze

When Le Roux's daughter Agnès (Adèle Haenel) returns to the Riviera after her divorce to open a boutique selling books, African sculptures and Asian textiles, she falls for Maurice despite the fact that he has a family and a young son and many other women he juggles in his life already. Maurice convinces Agnès to vote against her mother during a crucial meeting deciding the fate of 350 casino employees, and things spin out of control from there.

Haenel won Best Actress César for her performance in Thomas Cailley's Love At First Fight (Les Combattants), which also screened in the 20th anniversary of Rendez-Vous with French Cinema in New York.

Anne-Katrin Titze: You worked on the screenplay for André Téchiné's In The Name of My Daughter which is also taking place in the Seventies…

Cédric Anger: … also has Guillaume in the lead …

AKT: …also has Guillaume in the lead, also is based on a real murder case. Chronologically, which film did you write or shoot earlier, yours or Téchiné's?

The book by the real-life Renée Le Roux is the basis for André Téchiné's In The Name Of My Daughter that he co-wrote with Jean-Charles Le Roux (brother to Agnès)

CA: I wrote my movie before and then re-wrote the Téchiné. But Next Time [I’ll Aim For The Heart] was a very dark movie and it was very hard to find the money to do it. So Téchiné shot his movie before. He asked me to hand the screenplay to Guillaume. We shot my film afterward but the project was there before.

AKT: What is next for you? Writing? Directing?

Guillaume Canet as Maurice Agnelet: "So Téchiné shot his movie before. He asked me to hand the screenplay to Guillaume."
Guillaume Canet as Maurice Agnelet: "So Téchiné shot his movie before. He asked me to hand the screenplay to Guillaume."

CA: I have just finished writing a movie for Téchiné, another one which he'll be shooting next year and I started to write for me. It's a movie that will be sometimes funny and sometimes very dark about the porno cinema industry in France in the Eighties.

AKT: The Téchiné one will also be set in the Eighties?

CA: No. It's about the First World War. It's about a guy who was a soldier who escaped from the front. He was hiding himself in his girlfriend's apartment. He was hiding and he was bored and he started to put on his girlfriend's clothes, a dress. And he spends a while as a girl and because he had to make money to have something to eat, he became the most famous prostitute in the Bois de Boulogne during the war and during the Twenties.

AKT: Does it have a title yet?

CA: Nos Années Folles, for the moment.

AKT: The Roaring Twenties or, literally, Our Crazy Years, sound already fascinating. Thank you.

Yesterday, March 13, was André Téchiné's (1985 Cannes Film Festival Best Director for Rendez-vous) 72nd birthday.

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