Aline (2021): Valérie Lemercier Directs and Stars in Fictionalized Portrait of Celine Dion

Valérie Lemercier directed Aline, a sanitized and fictionalized portrayal of the life of Céline Dion, starring Lemercier as “Aline Dieu,” a Canadian singer who rises to international stardom.

Lemercier plays Aline at every stage of her life from childhood through to middle age, with her body and face digitally adjusted for age-appropriateness in post-production.

However, the singing is performed by French singer Victoria Sio.

The film also stars Roc Lafortune and Danielle Fichaud as Aline’s parents Anglomard and Sylvette Dieu, and Sylvain Marcel as her manager and future husband Guy-Claude Kamar, as well as Antoine Vézina, Pascale Desrochers, Jean-Noël Brouté, Sonia Vachon, Alain Zouvi, Marc Béland, Christian Bordeleau, Yves Jacques, Jennie Anne Walker, Michel Laliberté, Elsa Tauveron, Arnaud Préchac and Mathieu Dufresne in supporting roles.

The only conflicts are convincing Aline’s parents to accept her love for manager Guy-Claude (Sylvain Marcel), the couple’s attempts to get pregnant and a period when Aline’s vocal cords nearly give out.

The film premiered at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival.

In advance of its Canadian release, Dion’s family members spoke out against the film, criticizing it for factual inaccuracies and for portraying their family as “a gang of Bougons”. The film was approved by Dion’s manager; Dion herself has not spoken about it publicly to date.

Lemercier’s decision to play the character throughout her life is strange and unusual, likely to divide viewers.

Lemercier wouldn’t dare offend Dion, so the tale unfolds as a faith-based movie, but the move is engaging and well-acted on its own terms.

At the 2022 César Awards, Aline scored 11 nominations including Best Film, Best Original Screenplay, Best Actress and Best Director.