French director, Olivier Dahan’s first American film, “My Own Love Song,” made its US debut at the Tribeca Film Festival on April 22, 2010. Dahan is most famous for his 2007 film, “La Vie En Rose,” featuring French actress, Marion Cotillard, as the immortal chanteuse Edith Piaf. Only Dahan’s 3rd directing effort, “La Vie En Rose” was the first French movie to ever win 2 Academy Awards, including the very first acting Oscar where the movie was filmed “en francais.”
“My Own Love Song” was filmed in English. It was released in France on April 7, 2010 with French subtitles. Dahan has put together two exceptional actors in “My Own Love Song:”
Actress and producer, Renee Zellweger, who won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar her performance in “Cold Mountain” (2003). Zellweger starred in the movie musical “Chicago” (2002) and played Beatrix Potter in “Miss Potter” (2006). She is also well known for her roles as Bridget Jones in “Bridget Jones Diary” (2001) and two additional Bridget Jones sequels. Ms. Zellweger is currently working on another as yet untitled Bridget Jones project.
Actor, director and producer, Forest Whitaker, who won a Best Actor Oscar for his role as Ugandan dictator Idi Amin in “Last King of Scotland” (2006). Always a busy man, the 6′ 2″ actor is rumored to be directing and starring in the role of Louie Armstrong in an upcoming film “What a Wonderful World,” at a date yet to be announced. He is wrapping up a film about a musician “Lullabye for Pi” (2010) (Whitakers plays hotel desk clerk, George) and has several other movies in the works.
Rounding out the cast are veteran actor, Nick Nolte (“Cape Fear,” “Prince of Tides”), as a washed up blues musician and Madeline Zima, who is currently known best for her roles as Mia on Showtime’s “Califomication” and as Gretchen on “Heroes.” She began her acting career as Annabella Sciorra’s daughter, Emma, in “The Hand that Rocks the Cradle” (1992), starring Rebecca De Mornay as a psycho nanny.
The plot of “My Own Love Song” revolves around a paraplegic woman (Zellweger) who has been separated from her son for 7 years, and her friendship with a schizophrenic (Whitaker) who hears voices and see angels. They embark on a road trip to Memphis and Zellweger’s character ultimately finds her son. Ms. Zellweger sings Woody Guthrie’s “This Land” in the film as well as Bob Dylan’s “Life is Hard.”
For some, It may be a little familiar and even reminiscent of 2006’s “Black Snake Moan,” starring Samuel L. Jackson and Cristina Ricci –black man, white woman, terrible problems, the healing power of music. But the music in “My Own Love Song” happens to come from legendary music icon, Bob Dylan.
Dylan provided 16 original tracks for the movie, some of which he turned into his 2009 album, Together Through Life. Oliver Dahan says about his collaboration with Bob Dylan: “”It was based on the scenario and the notes I sent him. Love, faith and friendship, with a very simple approach, not intellectualized. He composed pieces while I was shooting, I could not show him the rushes, so I made him little clips. But I know he understood the story I wanted to tell from the beginning of the collaboration. … His only restriction was to have very specific content in the song “Life is Hard,” that the character of Jane sings to her son whom she finds after 7 years’ separation. He wrote many more songs than necessary as well as instrumentals. … I was very lucky to work with this great artist.”
The exact date the movie will be released in American theaters has not yet been announced on IMDB. In the meantime, you can visit the movie’s website (in French) here and also preview Renee Zellweger singing Dylan and Guthrie here.
IMDB: My Own Love Song
Prefix Mag: Renee Zellweger Covers Bob Dylan (videos)
“My Own Love Song” Movie Trailer Webite