Pierre Deladonchamps, by film industry standards, is a late bloomer. After deciding against a career in business in favor of one in the arts, the young actor took classes in his hometown of Nancy before moving to Paris in 2001. Three years with Cours Florent lead to parts in television series and telefilms. Deladonchamps’ breakout performance came in 2013, when he was chosen over eighty other candidates to play Franck in Alain Guiraudie’s L’Inconnu du lac. The following year, at the age of 35, he won the César for Most Promising Actor. Here is a round-up of Deladonchamps’ six best artistic performances to date.
This drama-thriller effectively marks the beginning of Deladonchamps’ career as an internationally renowned actor. The film follows the twisted, lakeside romance of Franck and Michel, played by Christophe Paou. Hotly-debated, following its premiere at Cannes in 2013, by its unsimulated depictions of gay sex, the film is an enduringly gripping study of the human desire for passion even in the face of imminent danger. It was nominated for eight awards at the 39th César Awards (the French equivalent of the Oscars) with Deladonchamps collecting its only gong on the night.
Release date: June 12th, 2013
Set in Dombasle-sur-Meurthre, a nondescript town on the outskirts of Nancy and birthplace of writer and director Philippe Claudel, Une enfance tells of the impoverished, chaotic life of 12-year-old Jimmy. Recognizing that his mother, Pris, played by Angelica Sarre, and Deladonchamps’ criminal and drug-abusing and all-around step-parent, Duke, are incapable of looking after his half-brother Kevin, Jimmy steps in as a surrogate. Deladonchamps has been praised for bringing believability to a character defined by contradictions in his thoughts and actions in the film, though coolly received at the box office, won the drama category at the Chicago International Film Festival.
Release date: September 23rd, 2015
In this fantasy-thriller from Jonathan Helpert, Deladonchamps plays Louis Legarec, one of five friends brought to a remote château by the wealthy Robert d’Églantine, under the premise of being transported back in time to 1944 and Nazi-occupied France. Alternatively, they could all just be players in an elaborate game. Though the film suffers from the forced ambiguity and plot holes associated with this particular brand of sci-fi, and a few cases of overacting, Deladonchamps and co-star Julia Piaton have been picked out by critics as its key redeeming features.
Release date: January 13th, 2016
This six-part, dystopian mini-series is set in a Paris of the near-future where 80% of the population are jobless and the other 20% live lives of luxury within an impenetrable city fortress. The only way for the poor to cross the wall and social lines is to enter a lottery. Deladonchamps plays the lead character, Ruben Garcia, a successful engineer and host to the eventual lottery winner. The expected comparisons can be made – The Hunger Games, Divergent, and even Charlie Brooker’s Black Mirror anthology – but as with the acclaimed series, Les Revenants, there is something about the French stylization that sets this work apart.
Series start date: February 11th, 2016
In this highly anticipated, Franco-Canadian drama, directed by Philippe Lioret, Deladonchamps plays Mathieu, a 33-year-old who has never known his father. One morning, he receives a call telling him that his father has died in his native Canada. Mathieu decides to travel to the funeral in Montreal where he meets a family who had no knowledge of his existence and who are less than enthusiastic about the reality of it now.
Release date: August 31st, 2016
An adaptation of the 1995 novel, L’Élégance des veuves (The Elegance of Widows) by Alice Ferney, this drama from director Tràn Anh Hùng depicts, in floral tones, the bliss and tragedy which make up the lives of three generations of women. In addition to Deladonchamps, the film features modern French superstars Audrey Tautou, Mélanie Laurent and Bérénice Bejo. From the trailer, it looks set to be a favorite with critics on both sides of the Atlantic and the Channel.
Release date: September 7th, 2016