Arte is changing its programs to pay tribute to Gaspard Ulliel, who died suddenly at the age of 37. The channel chose to broadcast Just the end of the world, his feature film with Xavier Dolan, which won him his César.
In 2016, Gaspard Ulliel played for the Canadian filmmaker Xavier Dolan in Only the end of the world, an intimate film in which he gave the answer to a cast of stars: Marion Cotillard, Vincent Cassel, Nathalie Baye and Léa Seydoux, among others.
Ulliel plays a writer returning to his native village after twelve years of absence to announce his impending death to his family. The film deals with incommunicability, through the reunion of a family circle where we tell each other the love we have for each other through the eternal quarrels, and where we say in spite of ourselves the resentments that speak in the name of doubt and loneliness.
At the microphone of DashFUN, Ulliel returned to this singular shoot and the prejudices he had towards Xavier Dolan before knowing him:
I was expecting someone who could sometimes be capricious, perhaps a little harsh with his actors, and in fact it’s quite the opposite: he’s someone who is extremely gentle, very loving, there has an enormous tenderness that invades all of us spontaneously on set and everything is done with disconcerting ease.
The theme of incommunicability, at the center of the film, was the one that particularly interested the actor, as he had explained to us in detail, proof of Ulliel’s involvement in the projects he accepted:
“Incommunicability is something that is characteristic of being, whatever it is and especially in our society: we communicate more and more, but we meet less and less, we remain very much on the surface of things.
“And that is what is told in this work : characters who are drowning in speech, a speech that turns a little on itself, which no longer conveys any meaning and denatured from its primary function (…). [Cette] moribund speech is only an escape, a mask, they are people filling a permanent existential void.
With 1,058,503 admissions when it was released, Just the End of the World is Xavier Dolan’s second feature film to have passed one million admissions in France, with Mommy (1.2 million). The film had won the Grand Jury Prize at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival, but also three Césars: Best Editing, Best Director and… Best Actor for Gaspard Ulliel.
Their filming experience was so strong that Xavier Dolan wanted to pay tribute to the deceased actor (via Thierry Frémaux, general delegate of the Cannes festival):