TWO OF US
Director: Filippo Meneghetti, France, 2019, 95 min.
Official Oscar® Entry, Best International Feature Film – France
Golden Globes® Nominee, Best Motion Picture, Foreign Language
César Nominations (4): Best Actress – Barbara Sukowa; Best Actress – Martine Chevallier; Best Original Screenplay; Best First Film
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Academy Award®-nominated icon Isabelle Huppert leads a discussion with writer/director Filippo Meneghetti and star Barbara Sukowa.
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Two aging women, Nina (Barbara Sukowa) and Madeleine (Martine Chevallier), have been secretly in love for decades. Everybody, including Madeleine’s family, thinks they are simply neighbors, sharing the top floor of their building. They come and go between their two apartments, enjoying the affection and pleasures of daily life together, until an unforeseen event turns their relationship upside down and leads Madeleine’s daughter to gradually unravel the truth about them.
ABOUT THE FILMMAKERS
DIRECTOR, SCREENWRITER – FILIPPO MENEGHETTI
Originally from Padova, Italy, Filippo’s earliest work experience was on New York’s indie film circuit. After film school and an Anthropology degree in Rome, he co-wrote the feature Imago Mortis (2009). He worked as a first assistant for several years before starting to direct his own short films, Undici (2011, codirected by Piero Tomaselli) and L’intruso (2012), which screened and garnered prizes at festivals in Italy and abroad. In
2018, Filippo moved to France where he made his next short, The Beast, which screened in competition at SXSW 2019 and can now be seen at international festivals. Two Of Us is Filippo’s first feature.
SCREENWRITER – MALYSONE BOVORASMY
After graduating with an M.A. in literature, Malysone Bovorasmy started working as a film and TV journalist for various publications before moving into screenwriting. She took the TV series creative writing course at La Fémis in 2017 and is currently working on various projects for TV. For the cinema, after co-writing Two Of Us with director Filippo Meneghetti, she co-wrote Eelam, directed by Lawrence Valin, currently in development with Agat Films and winner of the Emergence 2019 award.
BARBARA SUKOWA – Nina
Barbara Sukowa is one of the most internationally well-known German actresses. She has received numerous awards for her work in film and on stage.
Sukowa started as a stage actress in major German theaters. Her roles included Marion in Büchner’s Danton’s Death and Helena in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Other Shakespeare roles in Europe were Rosalind in As You Like It and Desdemona in Othello. Sukowa also performed in Ibsen’s The Master Builder. The Marquise de Merteuil in Heiner Mueller’s Quartett in Salzburg Festival, Amsterdam, Stockholm, Hamburg (2010). In the US, she has worked in productions of The Cherry Orchard and in Arthur Kopit’s Because He Can.
Her break through in cinema came with her portrayal of Mieze in Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s Berlin Alexanderplatz (1980), which earned her the Best Young Actress Award in Germany. Her performance of the title role in Fassbinder’s Lola earned her a German Film Awards (Gold) award. Her performance in Margarethe von Trotta’s Die bleierne Zeit (Marianne and Juliane, 1981) earned her a Best Actress Award at the Venice Film Festival. She received “Best Actress Award“ honors at the 1986 Cannes Film Festival for her work in von Trotta’s Rosa Luxemburg. In 2008 she received Best actress Award at the Montreal World Film Festival for her role in Ulla Wagner’s The Invention of Curried Sausage. She is a three-time recipient of the prestigious Bavarian Film Award for her roles in the Name of Innocence, Vision from the life of Hildegard von Bingen and Hannah Arendt.
Sukowa has also developed a career as a classical music narrator and singer. She has performed the speaker’s role in Arnold Schönberg’s Pierrot Lunaire, first with the Schoenberg Ensemble under Reinbert de Leeuw. Other performances have been with ensembles in Paris, London, Berlin, St. Petersburg, Madrid, Rome, Tokyo, Salzburg, Los Angeles, and New York City with conductors Marc Albrect, Esa Pekka Salonen, and David Robertson. She has performed the Speaker’s role in Schönberg’s Gurrelieder with the Berlin Philharmonic and Claudio Abbado, and the Los Angeles Philharmonics under Esa –Pekka Salonen, and is the Speaker on the recording with Abbado and the Vienna Philharmonic. She narrated Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf both in concert and on the recording, as well as a recording of Mendelssohn’s music for A Midsummer Night’s Dream. She has performed in Arthur Honegger’s Jeanne d’Arc au bûcher and Kurt Weill’s The Threepenny Opera. She performed the speaking role in the US premiere of Michael Jarrell’s Cassandre in March 2006 at Carnegie Hall the New York City with musicians from the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra. At Carnegie Hall she sang the US premiere of In The Wonderful Month of May an adaptation of Schubert and Schumann Lieder by Reinbert Deleeuw and the Schoenberg Ensemble. The recording by Winter & Winter received an Echo Klassik, an Edison Award and a Grammy Nomination.
Sukowa is also the front singer of the Band the X-Patsys, which she founded with visual artists Jon Kessler and Robert Longo. Their recently released CD Devouring Time was named a “Best New Release” in Germany.
MARTINE CHEVALLIER – Madeleine
Martine Chevallier, born in Gap (Hautes-Alpes), is a French actress. She was appointed a member of the Comédie-Française in 1988 and has been an honorary member since 2019. In 1968, Chevallier was hired at the Théâtre de la Ville, until the 1969-1970 season, then joined the troupe of the Comédie des Alpes, starring in the play Late at Night by Guillaume Kergourlay. Chevallier was trained in the Stanislavski theatrical method before joining the National Conservatory of Dramatic Art where she won first prize in 1974.
Chevallier was hired at the Comédie-Française as a resident on November 1st, 1986, and named the 478th associate in 1988. She made her debut at the Comédie-Française, playing the title role in Esther directed by Françoise Seigner. She performed under the direction of Georges Lavaudant, Jean-Louis Benoît, Philippe Adrien, Pierre Romans, Antoine Vitez, Yannis Kokkos, Youssef Chahine, and Jacques Rosner. In 1995, she played the title role in Phèdre de Racine directed by Anne Delbée. Piotr Fomenko entrusted Chevallier with the role of Gourmyjskaïa in Forest, a role she later reprised in the 2014 film adaptation The Forest directed by Arnaud Desplechin. She also starred in Le Système Ribadier by Feydeau directed by Zabou Breitman, and in Poussière by Lars Norén directed by the author.
Chevallier became a member emeritus of the French Comedy in 2019, where she starred as the title character in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar directed by Rodolphe Dana. In the cinema, Chevallier has starred in the films of Anne Fontaine, Roschdy Zem, Guillaume Canet, Julie Gavras, Benoît Jacquot, Arnaud Desplechin and Lucas Belvaux. Chevallier’s most recent role is as the lover of Barbara Sukowa and the mother of Léa Drucker in the film Two of Us directed by Filippo Meneghetti.
LÉA DRUCKER – Anne
Léa Drucker was born on January 23, 1972 in Caen. She is the niece of television presenter Michel Drucker and the daughter of his brother Jacques Drucker, professor of medicine in Washington. From the age of 15 she developed a passion for comedy and took theater lessons at the Rue Blanche school. She debuted on the boards in 1999 in Le Misanthrope et Danny ou la grande bleue, for which she was nominated for Molières in 2001. At the same time, she appeared in TV films and TV series. In the cinema, in 2001 she landed her first major role in John R. Pepper’s Butterflies, which made her known to the general public. She quickly distinguished herself by her natural banter, her good humor and her ability to take on comic roles, as in Lost girls, greasy hair in 2002.
Continuing filming and focusing on comedies, she appeared in 2005 alongside Guillaume Canet in Narco, Edouard Baer in Virgil de Mabrouk el Mechri with Jalil Lespert. She also appeared her in Les Brigades du Tigre by Jérôme Cornuau with Clovis Cornillac. She is also at ease in the dramatic register as in Chaos, by Coline Serreau, which earned her a César nomination in 2001. Since then, she has continued her career, alternating between short films and feature films. In 2008, she played Coluche’s wife in Antoine de Caunes Coluche’s film, the story of a guy. Léa Drucker has become an essential actress in the theater as in the cinema.