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Marion Cotillard and Guillame Canet bring their love affair to 'Blood Ties'

"Blood Ties" director/co-writer Guillame Canet and Marion Cotillard on the set of "Blood Ties"
"Blood Ties" director/co-writer Guillame Canet and Marion Cotillard on the set of "Blood Ties"
Roadside Attractions

“Blood Ties” (set in New York City in 1974) is a remake of the 2008 French film “Les Liens du Sang.” The story is about two brothers on the opposite side of the law: Fifty-year-old Chris Pierzynski (played by Clive Owen) has just been released on good behavior after several years in prison following a gangland murder. Reluctantly waiting for him outside the gates is his younger brother, Frank Pierzynski (played by Billy Crudup), a cop with a bright future. Chris and Frank have always been different, and their father, Leon (played by James Caan), who raised them alone, seems to favor Chris despite all his troubles.

Marion Cotillard and Guillame Canet at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival press conference for "Blood Ties"
Marion Cotillard and Guillame Canet at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival press conference for "Blood Ties"
Getty Images

Yet blood ties are the ones that bind, and Frank, hoping that his brother has changed, is willing to give him a chance: He shares his home, finds him a job, and helps him reconnect with his children and his ex-wife, Monica (played by Marion Cotillard). But Chris’ inevitable descent back into a life of crime proves to be the last in a long line of betrayals, and after his brother’s latest transgressions, Frank banishes him from his life. But it’s already too late, as the brothers’ destiny is bound together forever. Here is what Cotillard and “Blood Ties” director/co-writer Guillame Canet (who are a couple in real life) said at the Toronto Film Festival press conference for “Blood Ties.”

Guillame, “Blood Ties” is a remake of “Les Liens du Sang,” and you co-starred in “Les Liens du Sang.” Did you have any fear about remaking the movie as a director?

Canet: No, because if I had felt fear, I would have changed my mind and done something else. No, I was excited when I read the script. When I did the film as an actor, that was the first time that I read the script and I was excited about it.

Marion, what did you like most about your Monica character in “Blood Ties”?

Cotillard: When I read the script, I was deeply touched by this character. She’s a mother. She’s a woman in love but left aside, because the man she loves doesn’t really love her back the way she would like him to love her. When we start the movie, he’s out of jail and inside for nine years. But she’s also a hooker and a drug addict, but she’s trying to survive, and she’s trying to have the best life she can offer to her kids. So in that way, she’s very moving. She’s struggling for a better life for her kids.

Did you place any limits on how to portraying a prostitute?

Cotillard: What was in the script was a really beautiful and touching character. And, of course, she carries this huge failure that is part of her life. How it was written, I didn’t have to do crazy naked stuff. I agreed on everything that was written there. I would have gone wherever Guillame wanted me to go.

For more info: "Blood Ties" website