Saturday, March 22, 2008

PERSEPOLIS releasing in English

PERSEPOLIS scene, poster, and French actress Catherine Denueve

The French Oscar-nominated feature animated movie PERSEPOLIS, will get a second opening in movie theaters 11 April, and this version is in English. I'm delighted. They may have done it in French for financing, and anticipating that it would be chosen by the French Academy as an entry in the Best Foreign Language category for an Oscar® nomination, which it was.

The plan backfired. It was not selected by AMPAS® in that category, but was nominated in the best animation category. In my humble opinion, if they had released it in the U.S. with the English soundtrack, in the period to qualify for a nomination on its own merits, it would have stood a better chance of winning the Academy Award®. It is totally hand-drawn like the early Disney animated movies.

The movies' writers / directors Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud, directed actors recording the English soundtrack as they were recording the French soundtrack. The movie is based on the autobiographical graphic novel of the same name by Satrapi, which is based on her experiences as a young girl in Iran. It takes place when a large number of fundamentalist Shi'ite Islamic radicals deposed Shah Reza Palavi (1979) and established Sharia law as the supreme law.

Mother and daughter Catherine Deneuve and Chiara Mastroianni will reprise their roles as the mother Tadji, and daughter Marjane, respectively, in the English version. Sean Penn will provide the voice of Marjane's father Ebi; Gena Rowlands plays Marjane's grandmother; Iggy Pop is Uncle Anouche; and Amethyste Frezignac plays young Marjane.

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