Anne Fontaine’s biopic Boléro about the birth of the celebrated orchestral work from Maurice Ravel, is now filming in France.
Set in the Roaring 1920s, the film stars Raphael Personnaz (Our Brothers, The French Minister), as the renowned composer. Jeanne Balibar (Lost Illusions, Cold War and Grace Of Monaco), plays the Russian dancer-choreographer Ida Rubinstein who commissioned the now legendary music.
Boléro also stars Doria Tillier, Emmanuelle Devos, and Vincent Perez and was written by Fontaine alongside Claire Barré.
The French-language film follows the boundary-pushing Rubinstein as she selects Ravel to compose the music for her next ballet and requests something bold and sensual. Ravel finds himself incapable of writing anything, but in the process of reliving his memories, facing his old loves and failures, the composer ends up creating his greatest success ever: Boléro.
As per our sister site Screendaily's exclusive report, filming commenced in March in Paris, Perros Guerrec, Meaux and Montfort, and is expected to wrap on Friday May 5.
SND, the film arm of France’s M6 group, is on board as co-producer and French distributor. It is produced by the production house behind Florian Zeller’s The Father and The Son, Philippe Carcassonne’s Ciné-@, and Jean-Louis Livi’s F comme Film alongside CinéFrance Studios.
Fontaine's notable credits include: 2009’s Coco Before Chanel starring Audrey Tautou, 2003 film Nathalie with Emmanuelle Beart, Fanny Ardant and Gerard Depardieu and more recent titles including 2016’s 1945 Poland-set The Innocents, 2019’s Pure As Snow starring Isabelle Huppert, Lou De Laage and Benoit Poelvoordre and 2020’s police drama Night Shift starring Virginie Efira and Omar Sy.
“Maurice Ravel remains today one of the most brilliant composers of the 20th century,” said Fontaine. ”Not unlike Coco Chanel, he was a complex artist whose art resonates all over the world. I wanted to explore the process of creation of his Bolero: how inspiration can feed on personal trauma, regrets and sorrow, how art can be the result of an intimate quest and yet reach millions.”
Below-the-line talent includes Belgian DoP Christophe Beaucarne, who earned a César for best cinematography for Xavier Giannoli’s Lost Illusions in 2022, and composer Bruno Coulais, recipient of three César awards for best music including Christophe Barratier’s Oscar-nominated The Chorus.