Monday, July 21, 2008

French re-make showdown: Mon père, ce héros v My Father the Hero. Heigl v Gillain

My piece on Katherine Heigl (now there's a thought) got me thinking about who played her part in the French original. Now lumpy potato head, Gérard Depardieu was the eponymous father in both films Andre in the American one and André in the French one! His daughter was called Nicole (that reminds me of another girl I must feature!) in the American version (played by Heigl, 16 at the time) but Véronique (a much more evocative name!)in the French version.

The French daughter was played by 17 year old Belgian actress Marie Gillain, currently starring in Female Agents (2007).

So how do these talented young actresses shape up against each other?

Certainly Heigl is now the best known although maybe Gillain would have been more famous if she had won the role in The Lover (1991) which eventually went to "The Sinner from Pinner" Jane March (whatever happened to her?) As a result of her audition she got the role in Mon père, ce héros as the two films had the same casting director. Since then she has kept working, albeit in France, and even appeared in the bizarre French film version of Absolutely Fabulous, called naturelment, Absolument fabuleux (2001) playing the mousey daughter, Safrane.

Now Agent DVD and Agent Triple P have four critical factors: (a) face, (b) bust, (c) bottom and (d) legs. Now DVD favours (a) and (b) whereas we favour (c) and (d).

So let's see if we can use these criteria to give us a result.

(a) face

Firstly, Heigl. Big brown eyes, good cheekbones and very full lips. She does have a rather small retrousse nose and a tendency to get pudgy as her weight seems to vary quite a bit. But she is, no denying it, a lovely girl and so gets an 8/10.

Gillain's face is somewhat square and her eyes look a bit smaller. Her lips aren't quite as plump but her nose is nice and not too small. Still, a very good 7/10.

(b) bust

Not much to discuss on the Heigl front (er..). It's all there plus a bit. Twice. 9/10.

Gillain is not nearly as busty as Heigl but she is a nice shape and very perky so we can give her a good 6/10 (she is probably only worth a five but gets the extra point for nice nipples).

(c) bottom

Not much evidence for Heigl but from this shot she looks a bit flat and her hip/waist ratio isn't that good. A disappointing 5/10.

The evidence for Gillain is much clearer and in my limited experience this looks like a very fine specimen indeed. 9/10

(d) legs

Not many pictures of Heigl show her legs which is rather telling. From this paparazzi shot we can only give her 5/10.

Gillain is a very leggy specimen, however, and she is worth 8/10.

So if we total up the scores Heigl gets 27 and Gillain gets 30 so its a narrow win for Gillain.

Who would look good on your couch?

Probably Gillain from the rear and Heigl from the front (oddly the reverse of these two photos).

And there we have it; two intelligent and fine young actresses reduced to a collection of body parts. Who'd be a girl?